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If the company goes public soon, it would be a big move for the IPO market, which has been slow so far this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Very few tech companies have gone public since the pandemic took hold, with most public debuts being pharmaceutical or health-centered companies.
“The real holdup at Palantir was we were building products and we needed to kind of get enough of them out so that people would see the robustness of our company, both internally and externally,” Karp said on the show.
Last month, Bloomberg reported that Palantir expected to generate $1 billion in revenue this year, breaking even for the first time in company history. The company, which was founded in 2004, has more than $2 billion in total funding, according to Crunchbase data. Backers include Manhattan Venture Partners and Bracket Capital.
The company’s revenue was $739 million in 2019, up 24 percent from the previous year, according to Bloomberg. Karp noted in 2016 that he was considering an IPO for the company, although there was no timeline. For more details on Palantir’s financials, check out the Crunchbase News article here.
The company’s been in something of an “IPO limbo” for some time, something Crunchbase News has noted before. So Karp saying that it could go public within the next year, when there’s a global pandemic, is interesting.
Palantir, which was co-founded by Peter Thiel, is known for being extremely private and for having several contracts with the United States government. Most notably, the company took heat for contracting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, something, Karp said on Axios, that caused some of his favorite employees to leave.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias