Palantir Technologies, a big data startup founded by ex-PayPal folks, has grabbed a $56 million series G round, TechCrunch discovered.That brings its total funding to a whopping $301 million since it was founded in 2004. It just landed $70 million about six months ago. At that time, Palantir had earned itself a $2.5 billion valuation, TechCrunch says.
Palintir didn’t announce the round. It showed up as a filing with the SEC.
The company can command this kind of cash because it is extremely well connected. Peter Thiel is its chairman. Theil is, of course, known as one the Valley’s star entrepreneurs, co-founder of PayPal and an angel investor in Facebook.
So what does Palantir do that requires so much cash? It analyses data for government and finance companies. It’s become known as the secret weapon on the war on terror. Through it’s tool, the CIA can sift through all the data at the government’s disposal — internal databases, surveillance cameras, photos on Flickr — and find a likely terrorist. Palintir also has a product for finance companies to help them pick stocks and otherwise analyse data. Last fall, it was inducted into the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Hall of Innovation.
Palantir Technologies has got a lot of heavy competition coming after it. Big data startups are growing like weeds in the Valley — and at least one has matured enough to go public, Splunk (though Splunk is focusing on different industries, like scientific data analysis).
Still, with this much backing, Palantir is a company we’re watching.