Home >Companies >News >Palantir, one of Silicon Valley’s oldest startups, files to go public

Palantir Technologies Inc said it has confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public, ending an extended wait that made the data analytics company one of Silicon Valley’s oldest private startups.

Palantir had teased the market with plans to list shares for at least half a decade. Co-founded in 2004 by famed investor Peter Thiel, it sells software to aggregate big data for governments and corporations world-wide. The Palo Alto, Calif company’s analytics were credited with helping the US government capture Osama bin Laden.

The road to an offering, however, has been rocky. Palantir has repeatedly missed promises to investors to turn a profit, and employees have agitated for a chance to sell their private shares in the open market. Palantir has yet to turn an annual profit, The Wall Street Journal earlier reported.

This year, concerns grew that the company’s public listing plan could be affected by the coronavirus pandemic as corporate customers pare back spending.

Palantir’s announcement Monday contained few details. The company said it had submitted draft registration papers with the SEC. The statement didn’t lay out financial information or indicate what valuation executives hope to achieve.

Palantir has been valued privately at as much as $20 billion. Under traditional accounting principles, Palantir’s revenue last year was under $750 million, two investors have said. Earlier this year, Palantir’s chief executive, Alex Karp, told staff the company was “cash-flow positive," said people familiar with the matter.

Palantir is heavily weighing a so-called direct listing, a cheaper option that allows the company to save on investment banking fees, people familiar with the matter say. Other tech companies including music-streaming giant Spotify Technology SA and workplace-collaboration software provider Slack Technologies Incalso opted to bypass a traditional IPO.

Timing of the listing, Palantir said, would depend on the SEC completing its reviews, as well as market conditions and other factors. A company spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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