Palantir Technologies is a public American software company that specializes in big data analytics. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, it was founded by Peter Thiel, Nathan Gettings, Joe Lonsdale, Stephen Cohen, and Alex Karp in 2003. The company's name is derived from The Lord of the Rings where the magical palantír were "seeing-stones" of deception.
The company is known for three projects in particular: Palantir Gotham, Palantir Metropolis and Palantir Foundry. Palantir Gotham is used by counter-terrorism analysts at offices in the United States Intelligence Community (USIC) and United States Department of Defense. In the past, Gotham was used by fraud investigators at the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, a former US federal agency which operated from 2009 to 2015. Gotham was also used by cyber analysts at Information Warfare Monitor, a Canadian public-private venture which operated from 2003 to 2012. Palantir Metropolis is used by hedge funds, banks, and financial services firms. Palantir Foundry is used by corporate clients such as Morgan Stanley, Merck KGaA, Airbus, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Palantir's original clients were federal agencies of the USIC. It has since expanded its customer base to serve state and local governments, as well as private companies in the financial and healthcare industries. Karp, Palantir's chief executive officer, announced in 2013 that the company would not pursue an IPO, as going public would make "running a company like ours very difficult". However, on October 18, 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that Palantir was considering an IPO in the first half of 2019 following a $41 billion valuation. In July 2020, it was revealed the company had filed for an IPO.
The company was valued at $9 billion in early 2014, with Forbes stating that the valuation made Palantir "among Silicon Valley's most valuable private technology companies". As of December 2014, Thiel was Palantir's largest shareholder. In January 2015, the company was valued at $15 billion after an undisclosed round of funding with $50 million in November 2014. This valuation rose to $20 billion in late 2015 as the company closed an $880 million round of funding. Palantir has never reported a profit. In 2018, Morgan Stanley valued the company at $6 billion.
It ultimately went public in a direct public offering on September 30, 2020.