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Palantir acquires data visualization startup Silk

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Silk‘s co-founder and CEO, Salar al Khafaji, announced today that private data analytics unicorn Palantir would be acquiring the company.

The transaction appears to be an acqui-hire, with members of the Silk team directly joining Palantir in new roles. Founded in 2010, Silk helps data journalists, activists, NGOs and businesses produce data visualizations in the cloud without the need for complex software and programming knowledge.

“Silk.co as a platform will continue to operate,” said Khafaji in a blog post. “Nothing will change to current Silks, and you can still create a new Silk for free.”

The Silk team noted that it was willing to transition to work on “even bigger and more important data problems,” signaling that the deal is likely not indicative of any new consumer pivot for Palantir. The $20 billion Palantir produces data analytics solutions for the U.S. government to aid in counterterrorism, as well as a platform for the financial services industry to support fraud detection.

Silk raised three small incremental rounds of financing totaling $3.66 million from NEA and others between 2011 and 2013.

As a result of today’s announced transaction, there won’t be anyone left to operate the Silk platform, amidst assurances that all Silk data will remain secure and proprietary.

“Silk.co will operate ‘as is’ and we will not be able to provide technical or customer support to new or existing Silk accounts any longer, nor will we be doing any further development work or adding new features to the hosted Silk.co product.”

We have reached out to both Khafaji and the Palantir team and will update this post with comments when we get them.