The following has been transcribed from the December 13, 2021 ARK Monthly Webinar. Edits and comments are my own and were done in a way to best preserve the voices of each speaker.
Listener Question: "Could you share your thoughts and updated investment thesis on Palantir?"
Will Summerlin: "So Palantir, just to zoom out for a second, we're seeing more organizations make decisions and run their operations with data. This extends from militaries, we see this with the US military and ally militaries, to factories who are making more data driven decisions about optimizing how they manufacture products. To companies that need supply chain and looking at how data can affect decisions in the operations of their supply chain.
So as companies depend more on data and they start to generate larger volumes of data--we're starting to see this with the proliferation of IOT as well, which is generating more data than ever before--companies need to somehow manage this data.
They need to actually integrate this data into machine learning algorithms and ultimately integrate it into business outcomes. Whether that be a dashboard that helps an executive make a decision, or whether that be a piece of hardware in a factory that's flipping the switch.
So when companies think about this sort of database operating system for their organization, they have a couple decisions to make. And the first decision is, do they want to build that in-house or do they want to license a third-party solution?
We were starting to increasingly see companies lean towards licensing a third-party solution instead of spending years and millions of dollars on their own engineers to actually build something in-house, they can instead buy a solution like Palantir off the shelf. We're starting to see the trend shift towards licensing an existing solution versus building their own.
When we look at Palantir, we're excited about the future opportunity for a couple different reasons. Number one is they've proven their ability to manage data in secure environments. They came out of the government, they were handling sensitive, often classified data. So when they go into a large enterprise that enterprise inherently trusts their ability to manage and secure data.
Second is the advancements they're making with AI and machine learning, and the ability to actually manage and deploy machine learning models at the edge. It's very difficult to build and deploy, and maintain machine learning models in any environment, it's even more difficult if you're trying to do that on an edge device."
"So if you're trying to take a machine learning algorithm and put it on a device in a factory, that's an order of magnitude more complicated than just putting it behind a software solution that's a consumer app. And Palantir with Apollo has started to solve that problem. And again, this is something that came out of their work with the government. We're starting to see that come over into the commercial sector.
Broadly, we believe that more organizations are going to depend on data to make decisions and to run their operations. And we think that companies are going to lean towards licensing third-party platforms to do that versus building homebred solutions. And if those two things are true in our view Palantir is well positioned to help companies through that transition."
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