Silicon Valley info-assessment titan Palantir data files to go public

Andrew Cummings
July 9, 2020

Co-founded in 2004 by famed investor Peter Thiel, it sells software to aggregate big data for governments and corporations world-wide.

Palantir Technologies has confidentially filed for an IPO with the US Securities and Exchange Commission; this move is taken amid a considerable upswing for technology stocks. According to the filing, $550 million has already been raised, and capital commitments for the remaining allocation have been secured.

Palantir's announcement didn't give any hints about what valuation the company would aim for when it goes public. Last week, insurance provider Lemonade debuted on the public market to warm waters.

Palantir said its shares would start trading publicly after the SEC wraps up its review process, "subject to market and other conditions".

Nevertheless, Palantir - which has reportedly been valued at $20 billion privately - might receive a warm reception from public investors.

Palantir did not disclose any proposed timing of the offering, or any further details about how many shares it would sell or the share price range for the IPO. A possible IPO discussed in autumn 2018 is still said to be on the cards, although current estimates of the company's value appear to fall well short of the $41 billion touted then - figures of between $10bn and $26bn are reported. Other tech giants including Spotify and Slack have opted for direct listings in recent years.

With today's news, the cash raise looks complementary to the company's ambitions to go public. While this work helped it generate revenue of $750 million past year, the company's still struggled to turn a profit - as is the case with many tech IPOs. Investors also embraced the IPOs of the vehicle sales start-up Vroom and ZoomInfo, the sales software company.

Palantir's products help companies and government agencies synthesize and analyze large amounts of data. Its use by police and immigration officials, in particular, has sparked numerous protests.

In April 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded two contracts to the Company worth US$17.4 million and US$7.5 million, to aid in tracking and mitigating COVID-19.

Though pandemic has frozen several companies, Palantir's filling for an IPO in a confidential way demonstrates how the IPO market is heating up yet again.

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