In this article, we look at Palantir Technologies Inc, ticker symbol PLTR. We will explore what Palantir is and what it does.
You might also want to read the Palantir Explained blog on medium which provides a good overview of the company from the horse’s mouth, I.e from the company blog on Medium.
Palantir has been in lot of news recently with some experts seeing it as a company positioned really well to take advantage of the data revolution.
Palantir was named after a seeing stone referenced in the Lord of Rings with the genesis being the ability to see/visualise things in the future.
While this provides the context to its beginnings, the business model of Palantir is somewhat similar in the sense that they are essentially a software company; a software company which allows companies around the world to make sense of their data (see through their data, analyse and visualise it).
Palantir started off by serving the US defence and intelligence community by serving them the ability to analyse and decipher data by leveraging their proprietary software. They were founded in 2003 with the software platform being used for counter terrorism investigations. Their 1st software platform “Gotham” was being used for this specific purpose and continues to be used in the US govt departments such as defence.
“Gotham” allowed Palantir’s customers in the US defence and intelligence departments to analyse numerous amounts of data from places such as Afghanistan and Irag to essentially help US military find what they were looking for. This is a humungous task considering the vast amount of data with most of it being unstructured information from which patterns needed to be deciphered.
The software platform “Gotham” made that easy. As alluded to in the Palantir medium blog explaining what the company is all about, Palantir is in the business of providing this digital infrastructure as a software platform for companies to use to analyse their data, perform data driven operations and make decisions based on these. Essentially, Palantir makes decision making easy for the companies that use their platform.
The data belongs to, is owned by and secured with the end clients organisation. Palantir just provides the digital infrastructure (software platform) in a licensing model for end clients to be able to use their data in a secure fashion to decipher and make meaning out of it.
This provides Palantir’s clients the ability to use a software product build and tested for this purpose rather than having to build something of their own which is a time consuming and costly exercise and not an easy task by any means.
Palantir’s advantage stems from the above discourse and its beginnings as data has become the biggest competitive advantage for companies and the ability to decipher it can be a big differentiator.
And just to think about it, data is all pervasive and everywhere and innumerable. Companies like Tesla are leveraging continuous streams of data for their self driving initiative. Amazon uses data from speech for its Alexa virtual assistant AI technology.
The need for analysing and deciphering data is increasing day by day and in a transformational phase across industries such as Healthcare, Insurance, Banking and Travel.
With its background and success with “Gotham”, Palantir is now a public company having listed on the 30th of Sep 2020. It’s leveraging its success and capability to expand into providing similar digital infrastructure for other industries allowing companies in these industries to decipher data, differentiate and transform themselves and enabling an ecosystem of data collaboration within the realms of secured infra.
Palantir’s “Gowtham is now being used for defence operations and planning while they have released “Foundry” as their 2nd software platform.