Palantir Technologies Reached $2 Billion in Valuation
By Staff Writer
Palantir Technologies, Inc. is a data analysis company well-known in the U.S. intelligence community for their counter-terrorism analysis software which is now expanding its product to uncover financial fraud. Recently, the Palo Alto-based company reported a new $200 million in funding.
Palantir was founded in 2004 by quintets: Peter Thiel, Alex Karp, Joe Lonsdale, Stephen Cohen, and Nathan Gettings with investment from In-Q-Tel venture capital firm owned by U.S. federal government. The company was focused on developing data mining, integration and analysis software for American intelligence community. Its technology is heavily used by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to visualize relationship between data from multiple sources: phone numbers, bank records, address book, photos, and a wide array of information that is normally an unstructured data.
Reuters reported that Palantir is considered Silicon Valley's most secretive company, doing highly confidential work for U.S. defense and intelligence agencies. Its data mining system uses algorithms to search for patterns and connections, which was helping the U.S. government to track down and locate Osama bin Laden, the notorious Al Qaeda terrorist, whose hiding place was never found before.
Palantir's data mining system is now also being used by financial companies to analyze and uncover financial fraud.
According to Wall Street Journal, the company filed a new funding of $200 million to the Security Exchange Commission on Wednesday. Earlier this month, Palantir reported a $129 million to its funding, and with this latest fund, the latest round of investment in Palantir has reached $880 million.
Wall Street Journal also reported that Palantir has completed a total 12 financing round, accumulating a $1.9 billion valuation, including from hedge fund private investment and other sources. The huge amount of investment in Palantir Technologies making this 12-year old startup to be listed in the "Wall Street Journal Billion Dollar Startup Club." Other companies that made the list are Uber, Xiaomi and AirBnB.
The secretive nature of the company was reflected in the stealth development of its flagship product: Palantir Gotham. The software was built under an inteligence facilities and the development was finished in 2012. Another secretive nature of Palantir is the fact that four of its founders have involved with PayPal, except for Alex Karp, the company's CEO.
Alex Karp got his law degree from Stanford and obtained his Ph.D in Frankfurt University. Up to now, nobody really knows of his other background information unlike than four others. However, Karp played a major role in Palantir that made him CEO of the company.
Under his leadership, Palantir is a major employeer in Silicon Valley. According to Silicon Valley Business Journal, Palantir is one of Palo Alto's largest private employers, with more than 2,000 employees.
The secretive nature of Palantir is due to its close cooperation with United States intelligence community. Disclosure is something the intelligence can not afford to have, that also applied to Palantir.