Palantir: What Is the Main Business of the Company?
December 11, 2013
I read about Palantir and its successful funding campaign in “Palantir’s Latest Round Valuing It at $9B Swells to $107.8M in New Funding.” Compared to the funding for ordinary search and content processing companies, Palantir is obviously able to attract investors better than most of the other companies that make sense out of data.
If you run a query for “Palantir” on Beyond Search, you will get links to articles about the company’s previous funding and to a couple of stories about the companies interaction with IBM i2 related to an allegation about Palantir’s business methods.
Image from the Louisiana Lottery.
I find Palantir interesting for three reasons.
First, it is able to generate significant buzz in police and intelligence entities in a number of countries. Based on what I have heard at conferences, the Palantir visualizations knock the socks off highly placed officials who want killer graphics in their personal slide presentations.
Second, the company has been nosing into certain financial markets. The idea is that the Palantir methods will give some of the investment outfits a better way to figure out what’s going up and what’s going down. The visuals are good, I have heard, but the Palantir analytics are perceived, if my sources are accurate, as better than those from companies like IBM SPSS, Digital Reasoning, Recorded Future, and similar analytics firms.
Third, the company may have moved into a new business sector. The firm’s success in fund raising begs the question, “Is Palantir becoming a vehicle to raise more and more cash?”
Palantir is worth monitoring. The visualizations and the math are not really a secret sauce. The magic ingredient at Palantir may be its ability to sell its upside to investors. Is Palantir introducing a new approach to search and content processing? The main business of the company could be raising more and more money.
Stephen E Arnold, December 11, 2013