Big data company Palantir quietly raised another $20M in November

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The tangle of the year

Palantir — that $20 billion secretive outfit that provides government, finance, healthcare and other organizations with analytics, security and other data management solutions — has raised another $20 million in funding, according to a new SEC filing.

It’s a relatively modest amount for the company. In its last fundraising, in December 2015, Palantir closed off an $880 million round, seeing the private company’s valuation soar in the process.

The November 23 Form D filing notes that the date of first sale for this newest round was November 8 — coincidentally (?), the same date as the U.S. election that saw Donald Trump win the presidential race. Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel, who is also its chairman and major shareholder, was a vocal supporter of Trump.

The round comes from a single backer, but it does not specify other details. We have contacted Palantir with questions and will update as and when we learn more.

To date, Palantir has raised over $2 billion, and current investors in the company include 137 Ventures, Artis Ventures, Ben Ling, Founders Fund, Glynn Capital Management, GSV Ventures, the CIA-supported fund In-Q-Tel, Jeremy Stoppelman, Keith Rabois, Khazanah Nasional, Kortschak Investments, Mithril Capital, REV, Sozo Ventures and Ulu Ventures.

The $20 million in funding caps off a year that has seen a lot of ups and downs for Palantir. The company has never been too forthcoming about its business and general activities (and that, unfortunately, probably also means that Palantir won’t respond to our questions, not least because it also happens to be Thanksgiving Day). But there have been leaks aplenty.

They have pointed to its client list and what Palantir does for them; but also some of its own internal struggles with staff churn and holding on to key customers unwilling to pay Palantir’s fees. And Thiel is apparently among those who have valued the company’s shares at least 40 percent below their current valuation this year.

But it’s far from doom and gloom for Palantir. Thiel is playing a leading role in President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, which has led some to wonder if that will see Palantir get a boost in its dealmaking. But even without that, Palantir was already tight with Washington. In October, it had a boost when a court ruled in Palantir’s favor and ordered the U.S. Army to re-open bidding for a valuable data system contract so that Palantir could vie for it.

Most recently, we’ve heard from sources that the company may be planning an IPO for mid-2017 (a time frame that the FT has also reported). The company’s co-founder and CEO, Alex Karp, noted in October that the company is projecting profitability also for next year.

Additional reporting Katie Roof