Published On: Fri, Dec 6th, 2013

Alex Karp Seeking a $9 Billion Valuation For Palantir Technologies

Karp, CEO of the data analytics company is looking to raise a further $100 million round in funding that would be enough to see the company that he co-founded reach this goal.

Stephen Cohen and Alex Karp Palantir FRONT

(L-R) Stephen Cohen and CEO Alex Karp – co-founders Palantir

Alex Karp has always set the barrier high for Palantir Technologies the company that he co-founded in 2004 with PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Carp’s latest target for Palantir Technologies is to raise as much as $100 million in additional funding for the data analytics company, which would value  the company at close to $9 billion.

Palantir Technologies based in  Palo Alto, California reportedly  submitted a regulatory filing a few days ago in relation to the proposed new funding. According to industry reports Palantir made the filing having already been promised  $58 million in funding.

If Palantir Technologies were successful in reaching their $100 million funding target for this round, it would mean that they had succeeded in raising around $800 million in total backing since their formation in 2004, a remarkable figure under any circumstances and even more so when every they have yet to show any form of trading profit. According to industry analysts, turnover for the company is liable to cross the $450 barrier during 2013, an increase of 50% from 2012.

If this latest round of funding was to achieve its target, it would mean that Palantir Technologies  would move up to the fourth spot in US companies that have succeeded in raising the most venture capital without either raising an IPO or being sold.

To date the leading investors in this round is Founders Fund, owned by co-founder Peter Thiel, as well as the venture capital arm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) In-Q-Tel.

The latest round of funding comes just two months after the race close to $200 million which placed a value in the company of around $6 billion. If Palantir were to achieve their goal of raising additional 100, 000 in such a short space of time, it would make for an increase in value of 50%.

Demand for this company’s services certainly are dramatically increasing, indicated by an almost 100% increase in workforce levels from 700 this time last year to 1200 today spread around Palantir Technology’s four units in the United States and four foreign subsidiaries situated in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

During the first six years of its operation Palantir Technologies provided their services exclusively to the public sector of the US government , only in 2010, beginning to offer their services  to customers in the commercial sector.

Palantir’s core technology was developed over the space of three years by their team of computer scientists working in close cooperation with analysts from intelligence agencies, with the  initial pilots facilitated by In-Q-Tel, as well as a particular software concept that developed from technology that was in common use at Theil’s PayPal to detect fraudulent activity.

According to co-founder Peter Theil, Palantir Technologies rapidly arrived at the realization that despite using the most powerful computer-generated artificial intelligence, companies and institutions that wanted to protect their data would be unable to do so over the long-term. Their technology is capable of providing entry to human analysts in order to explore data from many sources and at close range in a process described by the company as intelligence augmentation. Palantir Technologies is trying to solve crimes and track terrorists

When questioned on the prospect of conducting an IPO to raise capital in the same mode as their near neighbors Twitter did just last month,  Alex Karp rapidly stated that painting of an IPO seems logical for a company of the size and aggressive growth statistics of  Palantir Technologies in practice it will be liable to  make “running a company like ours very difficult.”

Brave words from a man who stands to benefit considerably if Palantir Technologies were ever to consider floating the company, in which he holds a 10% stake, and would launch him automatically into the “billionaires club.”

The same rule of thumb applies to Karp’s partner in Palantir, his former Stanford law school classmate, Peter Thiel. Thiel is Palantir’s largest  shareholder, with investments of more than $40 million in the company since its foundation.


Alex Karp is the holder of a  Law Degree from Stanford University as well as Ph.D. in Neoclassical Social Theory from the University of Frankfurt.

After graduating, Karp founded his own investment fund, the Caedmon Group which proved to be highly successful, going on to form Palantir Technologies just two years later, in partnership with Joe Lonsdale,  Stephen Cohen, and Nathan Gettings.

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