Superstar well-moneyed Facebook investor Peter Thiel has told Forbes that the security outfit is among the most under-valued in all of Silicon Valley, and is “tracking like the really great tech companies, like Facebook or Google”. Then again, Peter Thiel is a huge stakeholder in the company so it could be a case of the pot calling the kettle incredible.
Palantir, with a name pinched from Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, creates data management, data sifting and visualisation software which is then sold on to government agencies or anyone else interested in testing for cybersecurity and counter-terrorism.
The bold claims could be riding the wave of a recent controversy, where Palantir allegedly concocted a plot, in league with HBGary, to bring Wikileaks supporters down with cyber attacks, on behalf of the Bank of America. Then again, it has distanced itself from the dodgy-goings on and launched an internal investigation.
According to Forbes, Palantir is 330-people strong with young engineers leading the charge to make important decisions. Getting a job at Palantir is tricky indeed, with rigorous tests in place to make sure it is drawing in top talent and stealing bright minds away from the likes of Facebook.
While the rich and the cautious spend big bucks on the security industries, Palantir offers technologies that are somewhat low-demand and arguably not revolutionary, according to Forbes’ sources.
Still, CEO Alex Karp reckons that the estimated revenues for 2010 – thought to be up to the $50 million mark – reckons there is a “clear path” to the lauded billion over the next five years.