Palantir’s CEO says his company’s stock is a retail favorite because they respect the intelligence of the day-trading community

Alexander karp palantir
Alexander Karp, chief executive officer and co-founder of Palantir Technologies Inc., attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 7, 2015 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Palantir’s CEO said the company is a retail-trader favorite because it makes bold, clear statements.
  • The data-mining company has “many of the best individual investors,” CEO Alex Karp said.
  • Palantir has become a Reddit favorite since going public via direct listing last year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Wall Street Bets-favorite Palantir attracts retail investors with its plain speech and bold statements, said Alex Karp, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer.

“We make bold claims. We’ve been right on these bold claims,” said Karp, speaking at Barron’s Investing in Tech virtual conference Wednesday. “We speak clear English about what we’re going to do.”

When asked about the company’s dedicated base of individual shareholders, Karp said Palantir respects the “intelligence and rigor” of retail investors.

The data-mining company has “many of the best individual investors” because they do their due diligence on the company’s software and clientele, and evaluate the quality of engineers and products. On the other hand, institutional investors often can be “lazy” in how they evaluate the software, he said, noting that the company has “some of the best institutional investors in the world.”

Palantir has about 1.5 million individual shareholders, according to Kevin Kawasaki, the company’s Global Head of Business Development, on a recent earnings call. He added that many of the shareholders are “showing up in customer meetings” to bring Palantir’s software to their own workplace.

Karp, who was the highest paid chief executive of a public company last year, founded Palantir in 2003 alongside Peter Thiel, Nathan Gettings, Joe Lonsdale, and Stephen Cohen. The data-mining powerhouse generates about half its sales from government contracts, such as ones with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also provides services to commercial companies like IBM, Amazon, and Airbus.

Palantir went public in 2020 through a direct listing, and since then has garnered the attention – and investment – from retail traders on forums such as Reddit’s Wall Street Bets. The stock ticker is frequently hyped on Reddit investing forums and rallied during meme-stock frenzies in January and most recently in May.

Many traders refer to the company’s CEO as “Papa Karp.” Other CEOs of well-loved stocks have received nicknames as well, like AMC Entertainment’s Adam Aron whose nickname is “Silverback,” referring to him as the gorilla pack leader among self-named retail-trading “apes.”