Palantir was incorporated in May 2003 by Peter Thiel. Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal, is the first outside investor in Facebook and has co-founded Palantir Technologies. He is currently the Chairman of Palantir Technologies. His co-founders include Nathan Gettings (PayPal Engineer), Joe Lonsdale and Stephen Cohen (Students of Stanford University), and Alex Karp, a former friend and colleague of Peter Thiel. Alex Karp is the CEO and co founder of Palantir.
This story of How A ‘Deviant’ Philosopher Built Palantir, A CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut which appeared in the Sep 2, 2013 issue of Forbes explains the genesis of Palantir in great detail.
The foundation of Palantir was built on the idea of using technology similar to a fraud recognition software used at PayPal on a larger scale to stop terrorist attacks by leveraging data. Peter Thiel had partnered with Nathan Gettings, Joe Lonsdale, Stephen Cohen and roped in his friend from Stanford Law School, Alex Karp to help with the venture.
CIA’s In-Q-Tel venture fund made the initial investment into Palantir with the CIA being their only customer for quiet a period of time.
With the involvement of Palantir with CIA and subsequently with other federal and defense agencies, Palantir had been focussed on solving problems around defense and intelligence helping the agencies decipher data in remote areas such as Afghanistan and Irag. Palantir has also been involved in uncovering cyber spying and espionage networks such as GhostNet and Shadow Network.
JP Morgan was Palantir’s first customer outside the US government agencies and its first commercial customer. Since then Palantir has been involved in solving JP Morgan’s fraud and mortgage issues while expanding their footprint in companies such as Bank of America and News Corp.
Lately, Palantir has helped in the fight against COVID-19 with its Foundry platform to track and contain the virus.
Palantir made its IPO debut on 30th of Sep 2020 via a direct listing of its shares.
Reference: This article was based on the following reference:
3. Palantir Technologies – Wikipedia