Yesterday evening Palantir, the quasi-secretive data mining and analysis firm, publicly announced that it has privately filed to go public.
The disclosure came in the wake of Palantir raising new capital, taking on hundreds of millions of dollars before its planned public offering. According to Crunchbase data, Palantir has raised billions while private, making its debut a marquee affair in the worlds of technology, startups and venture capital.
As TechCrunch reported yesterday, Palantir has a controversial product history, including helping locate immigrants for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, connecting databases for intelligence agencies and recently winning no-bid contracts to gather data about the COVID-19 pandemic for the White House Pandemic Task Force.
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The company’s filing comes after a long incubation period; it’s been 17 years since Palantir’s founding in 2003. Since then, its reported financial performance and fundraising history have become sufficiently convoluted that I couldn’t tell you this morning how big the company really is or how much it raised before its most recent investment.
Palantir’s reported history
To prep us for its eventual public IPO filing, let’s go back in time and collect data points from Palantir’s reported history. This way when we do get the company’s S-1 filing, we’ll better understand what we’re looking at.
Even with companies that aren’t privacy conscious, it can be hard to craft a comprehensive history of their business activities from when they were private. With Palantir, it’s even trickier.
Still, leaning on more than a decade of TechCrunch reporting, Crunchbase data, other publications and Craft.co, what follows is a reasonable look at what has been reported about Palantir through time.