Palantir Technologies offers software applications designed for integrating, visualizing, analyzing data and fighting fraud. Now the Denver, Colorado-based data-mining company has decided to go public on the NYSE under the ticker PLTR.
Established in 2003, Palantir was co-founded by Silicon Valley billionaire and PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel, and his Stanford classmate Alex Karp along with three other investors. The company recently hired a Chief Accountant, Jeffrey Buckley. He was formerly Chief Accounting Officer at gaming giant Zynga. Buckley joined the company ahead of its IPO bid.
After its last funding round in June, where it raised $550 million, the company was valued at $20 billion. Now it plans to sell some of its existing shares through the direct listing in which no new funds are raised and no new shares are issued. In the latest revision of its S-1 filing, Palantir states its Class A common shares, which will be offered in the direct listing, will only yield a combined 3.4% voting power in the company.
The company has garnered some criticism since it was founded. It generates more than 50% of its revenue from data contracts for government agencies like the CIA, who was also an early investor. Other clients include the Department of Defense and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Palantir has also worked with ICE, to help the government identify and deport undocumented immigrants over the past six years. This sparked employee protests in 2019.
Despite the controversy, Palantir has maintained its success. The company offered revenue guidance for the rest of the year, alongside its IPO announcement. It estimates that it will target around $1.05 billion in revenue for 2020, with non-GAAP operating income (excluding stock-based compensation and some other major line items) of $116-126 million. It expects its head count to remain roughly flat, growing just 4%.