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November 16, 2005

Tiny 'Spy-Size' PC Gets $20 Million Infusion

Courtesy of TechWeb News

At 14 ounces, the tiny but powerful OQO ultra-mini computer would be just the thing for secret agents. Fittingly, OQO Inc. announced Wednesday that a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and a former director of the National Security Agency are members of a funding body that led a $20 million financing round for the firm.

The investment was let by the Paladin Capital Group, which notes that it "invests in companies with products and services that address homeland security issues and needs." Paladin's management includes R. James Woolsey, former CIA director, and Lt. General (Ret.) Kenneth Minihan, former director of the NSA.

"As the only pocketable fully functional Windows XP PC on the market, the OQO ultra personal computer is already a key component in a variety of Homeland Security projects," said Paladin principal Niloo Howe in a statement. "We see tremendous potential for OQO in the government sector, in addition to the broader enterprise market."

A new investor participating in the latest round was Motorola Ventures. The OQO announcement noted the importance of Motorola's venture investment, because it brings Motorola's expertise in wireless communications closer to OQO. "Motorola's participation aligns OQO with a leader in wireless telecommunications," said OQO CEO Jory Bell in a statement.

General Minihan observed that the tiny computer can extend computational power and critical information deep into field operations. The device weighs less than 14 ounces, runs on the Windows XP operating system, and has a 1GHz processor as well as a 30GB hard drive and 516MB RAM. The OQO 01+ also has a qwerty keyboard and a five-inch 800 x 480 display.

Also participating in the new Series D financing round were previous institutional investors Azure Capital Partners and AsiaTech Management.

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