14:01 GMT25 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The French government has kept under its control a French defence technology company, called Preligens, which has been a subject of interest for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), media in France have reported.

    "We have decided to invest in Preligens because of its unique competencies in automated processing and AI-based analysis of satellite imagery and machine learning, which are of great interest to the intelligence and armed forces," French Defense Minister Florence Parly said, as quoted by Le Figaro newspaper.

    According to the report, the French government decided to make sure that Preligens remains French-controlled after learning that a non-profit venture capital company working for the CIA, In-Q-Tel, expressed interest in investing in it.

    Paris has reportedly invested 20 million euros ($24 million) in the start-up through three French-based funds, which means that all 100 percent of Preligens shares will remain French. Notably, one of these funds, the Definvest, belongs to the French Defense Ministry.

    Preligens is a start-up that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to quickly analyse big chunks of satellite data for defence and military purposes. Preligens was founded in 2016 and previously known as Earthcube.

    CIA, startup, U.S, France
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