Palantir Technologies, the Peter Thiel-backed firm known for its secretive ways, is looking to raise another round of funding, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources close to the company.
This would be on top of the round it raised at the end of 2014 that reportedly valued the company at $US15 billion.
Palantir, a notoriously tight-lipped company, didn’t talk about that round. But a form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicated that the company raised $US50 million in November. The 11-year-old company raised a total of $US500 million last year, sources told The Journal, and has raised about $US1 billion all told, from investors such as the CIA’s venture fund, In-Q-Tel, Thiel’s Founders Fund, and hedge fund Tiger Global Management.
Palantir’s clients are mainly government agencies and financial-services firms. The company sells these clients various software products that help them analyse all sorts of data like text, videos, bank records, phone numbers, and so on. It’s an especially popular way to help identify fraud, cyberthreats, and criminal behaviour.
When Palantir hit a $US15 billion valuation, it became the third-most-valuable venture-backed firm, after Xiaomi ($US46 billion) and Uber ($US41.2 billion), according to WSJ.
And with the money it raised in 2014, Palantir made a couple of acquisitions, such as an app-making startup called Propeller — a company also backed by one of Thiel’s investment funds. Palantir also bought a tiny social-media-analysis company called Poptip. That was unusual for the company. Prior to those buys, it had only acquired one other company, Voicegem, in 2013.
With this much investment, people will be wondering afresh if and when Palantir is headed for an initial public offering.
CEO Alex Karp told CNBC in March that the company has “no plans to go public anytime soon.”
We reached out to Palantir to comment and will update when we hear back.