Palantir, the sometimes controversial, but always secretive, big data and analytics provider that works with governments and other public and private organizations to power national security, health and a variety of other services, has reportedly been eyeing a public listing this autumn. But in the meantime it’s also continuing to push ahead in the private markets.
The company has filed a Form D — its first in four years — indicating that it is in the process of raising nearly $1 billion — $961,099,010, to be exact — with $549,727,437 of that already sold, and a further $411,371,573 remaining to be raised.
(A Reuters report from June confirmed that Palantir had closed funding from two strategic investors that both work with the company: $500 million from Japanese insurance company Sompo Holdings, and $50 million from Fujitsu. Together, it seems like these might account for $550 million noted as already sold on the Form D.)
The Form D also notes that 58 investors are already attached to the offering, and that “of the total remaining to be sold, all but $671,576.25 represents shares of common stock already subscribed for.” This means that Palantir has already secured commitments for the remaining part of the $961 million raise, although the offering has not closed.
Palantir declined to comment on the filing, except to note that this is related to primary investments, not secondary stakes.
It’s not clear if this latest fundraise, as spelled out by the Form D, spells a delay to a public listing, or if the intention is to complement it.
The filing also appears to confirm a report from September 2019 that Palantir was seeking to raise between $1 billion and $3 billion, its first fundraising in four years.
That report noted Palantir was targeting a $26 billion valuation, up from $20 billion four years ago. The Reuters article in June put its valuation based on secondary market trades at between $10 billion and $14 billion.
To date, Palantir has raised at least $3.3 billion in funding, according to PitchBook, which names no fewer than 108 investors on its cap table.
The PitchBook data (some of which is behind a paywall) also indicates that Palantir has raised a number of previous rounds of undisclosed amounts.
Palantir was last valued at $20 billion when it raised money four years ago, but there are some data points that point to a bigger valuation today.
While the coronavirus pandemic has all but halted the IPO market, we are starting to see some movement again, and Palantir’s own business activity points to what might be a strong candidate to usher in more activity.
In April, according to a Bloomberg report, the company briefed investors with documents showing that it expects to make $1 billion in revenues this year, up 38% on 2019, and breaking even in the first time since being founded 16 years ago by Peter Thiel, Nathan Gettings, Joe Lonsdale, Stephen Cohen and current CEO Alex Karp.
(The Bloomberg report didn’t explain why Palantir was briefing investors, whether for a potential public listing, or for the fundraise we’re reporting on here, or something else.)
On top of that, the company has been in the news a lot around the global novel coronavirus pandemic.
Specifically, it’s been winning business, in the form of projects in major markets like the U.K. (where it’s part of a consortium of companies working with the NHS on a COVID-19 data trove) and the U.S. (where it’s been working on a COVID-19 tracker for the federal government and a project with the CDC), and possibly others. Those projects will presumably need a lot of upfront capital to set up and run, alongside other business deals that Palantir has been securing — possibly one reason it is raising money now.
Updated throughout, including with response from Palantir.