Venture Capital: Palantir, The Ultra Low Profile Data Firm, Files Confidentially for an IPO

July 8, 2020 | News, Venture Capital
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Palantir was co-founded in 2004 by Peter Thiel.

Palantir Technologies, the highly secretive data analytics giant that works with governments, major banks, agencies such as the CIA and FBI, and the U.N.’s World Food Program, has confidentially submitted a registration statement for a proposed public listing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm made the fact public on Monday, July 6. (CNBC)

According to the announcement, Palantir could choose to go for a direct listing. This is an alternative to selling new shares in a traditional IPO. It may also choose, finally, to shelve these plans.

Long pending and anticipated IPO

In 2015, Palantir raised about $ 2.6 billion at a valuation of $ 20 billion. The firm was founded in 2004, making it one of the Silicon Valley start-ups that took the longest to float an IPO.

The management has been divided on the issue of taking the company public. Alex Karp, the chief executive has been one of the staunch votaries for keeping the company private and away from public scrutiny.

The Palantir listing would perhaps be the largest this year. It could take advantage of the bullish fervor prevalent in the new issues market. The tech-heavy NASDAQ index has surged by more than 50% to an all-time high from its recent lows in March. The recently listed online insurer Lemonade (NYSE: LMND) traded Tuesday at $78.79, gaining over 170% on its IPO issue price of $29.

By filing confidentially for an IPO, Palantir can keep sensitive information away from the eyes of its competitors, customers, and investors until it is ready for listing.

Parallel fundraising

Last week, Palantir also filed Form D for fundraising worth $ 961 million. The firm said it had already raised $550 million and had received commitments for the balance. The company had raised $500 million from Japanese insurance holding company Sompo Holdings and $50 million from Fujitsu.

A CNBC report in September 2019 had said the company was looking for a valuation of at least $26 billion in a fundraising round that would be the first in four years.

Related Story: Palantir, Last Valued at $20B, May Finally Bite The IPO Bullet

Image of Peter Thiel: JD Lasica/Flickr                                                   

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