09/17/2020

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Palantir Has Confidentially Filed to Go Public



The Biggest Tech IPO Since Uber


Palantir Technologies, which is valued at $20 billion, announced that it has confidentially filed to go public. This move lays the groundwork for what could be one of the biggest tech debuts since Uber’s (UBER) IPO last year.

Palantir is a data analytics software company. When it began in 2003, it mainly worked with governments, law enforcement, and the defense industry. It has since expanded and now serves private companies as well.

Investors have speculated about Palantir going public for some time. Until now, some of the company’s leadership has been resistant to the idea of an IPO, partly because of the sensitive data it processes. A public listing will mean that information about Palantir’s work with governments will be more visible than ever before. This is one reason the company is thinking about a direct listing, made popular by Spotify (SPOT) and Slack (WORK), which is a way to bypass the traditional IPO process. It’s also a cheaper option that would allow Palantir to save on investment banking fees.

Palantir’s Story


Palantir was founded in Palo Alto, CA, by Peter Thiel, Joe Lonsdale, Nathan Gettings, Stephen Cohen, and Alex Karp. It now has over 2,500 employees. Thiel, who was an early Facebook (FB) investor, has pushed for the company to stay private for as long as possible. Lonsdale, on the other hand, has been in favor of going public.

Investor interest in Palantir has been strong for some time. The company has received over $3 billion in venture capital funding from Fidelity, Tiger Global Management, In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Founders Fund, among others.

A Strong Tech IPO Market


The announcement that Palantir filed for an IPO does not necessarily mean that shares of the company will begin trading anytime soon. Sometimes companies confidentially file for an IPO and then never end up going public. Postmates, for example, filed for an IPO in February 2019, but was acquired by Uber instead.

The tech IPO market has been strong recently, after a period of almost no public debuts during the onset of the pandemic. For example, Lemonade (LMND), an insurance start-up, went public last week and its shares more than doubled on their first trading day. Investors will be carefully watching the tech IPO market and keeping an eye on Palantir’s next moves.


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