It’s hard to call Palantir Technologies a startup given that it was founded over a decade ago (2004), employs around 2,000 people and, as of a massive new $880 million round of investment, is valued at $20 billion.
But this private company is still taking on such huge sums of equity investment just like a startup and shows no signs of wanting to go public.
Early this month, it was widely reported that Palantir raised $129 million in funding.
But the round wound up being far, far bigger. When the company opened its latest round — its 11th — for investors, money just kept pouring in, reports the New York Times’ Quentin Hardy.
Forms filed with the SEC on Wednesday confirm this. Palantir disclosed that it has sold just under $880 million worth of stock in a round opened up last summer. (The round was so huge, by the way, that bankers Morgan Stanley and S F Sentry Securities shared a whopping $32 million in commissions.)
With this funding Palantir has raised about $2 billion.
There’s a lot of debate right now over if private companies should continue to take on massive amounts of venture funding at high valuations. The concern is what happens to them (and their employees) should their valutions tank.
With its ability to command such huge rounds, Palantir’s management seems content to stay private indefinitely.
That could be in part because the company is known for being ultra secretive. It sells technology that scans through huge amounts of data looking for patterns and is used by a lot of law enforcement and spy agencies. It helps them investigate crimes and spot potential terrorist plots. It’s also used by financial instutions to spot fraud, by healthcare providers to track clinical data, and so on.
Palantir was cofounded and backed by billionaire Peter Thiel, a member of the so-called “PayPal mafia,” and an early investor in Facebook, and is now a prominent Valley VC.