Palantir, the secret big data and analytics start-up, co-founded by Peter Thiel, said Monday night that it had confidentially filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to make them public.
His statement says little more. “The listing should take place after the SEC has completed its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”
Palantir did not specify when it planned to become a public company or provide other information such as the number of shares it could potentially sell or the share price range for the Initial Public Offering . Confidential IPO filings allow companies to bypass traditional IPO filing mechanisms that provide insight into their inner workings, such as financial numbers and potential risks. Instead, Palantir can explore the early stages of setting up a public listing without the public review that accompanies the process. The strategy has been used by companies such as Spotify, Slack and Uber. However, a confidential file does not always translate into an IPO.
A spokesman for Palantir, once reached, declined to comment further.
Palantir is one of the most secret companies in Silicon Valley, a provider of Big Data technologies and analysis, including for the US government and the intelligence community. Much of this work has sparked controversy among privacy and civil liberties activists. For example, surveys show that the company’s data mining software was used to create immigrant profiles and, therefore, facilitate deportation efforts from the ICE.
As the coronavirus pandemic spread worldwide, Palantir showcased its technology to bring big data to tracking efforts.
Last week, Palantir filed its first Form D in four years, saying it was raising $ 961 million. According to the file, $ 550 million has already been raised and the capital commitments for the rest of the allocation have been guaranteed.
With today’s news, the increase in cash seems complementary to the company’s ambitions to go public. A report estimates that the valuation of the company oscillates at 26 billion dollars.
The Palantir case is another example of the rise of the IPO market, despite the COVID-19 freeze imposed on so many companies. Last week, the insurer Lemonade made its debut on the public market to warm the waters. Accolade, a healthcare provider, is also selling more stocks than expected.