Palantir Pondering IPO Amid Backlash Over Profiling

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Palantir Technologies, backed by billionaire and former PayPal  (PYPL) - Get PayPal Holdings Inc Report co-founder Peter Thiel, is planning to file to go public as early as the fall.

The Palo Alto-based company is preparing to register an S-1 filing confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bloomberg reports.

Private investors last valued Palantir at $20 billion in 2015. It isn’t clear what valuation it may seek in an IPO. No final decision has been made and the company’s plans could still change, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Dozens of law enforcement and government agencies around the world use Palantir to compile and search for data on citizens with the intent of combating crime, hunting terrorists and in recent months, tracking the spread of Covid-19, according to Bloomberg.

However, the killing of George Floyd and global protests over racial injustice, in particular racial profiling and general bias among police and other institutions, has shed light on using technology and software like Palantir’s to glean information about individuals and companies.

Palantir’s software use by police and immigration officials, in particular, has sparked numerous protests and calls to ban the use of AI and technology in law enforcement.

However, its software is also used by cyber security experts as well as hedge funds and other financial services firms to circumvent hackers and thieves. Palantir’s funders include Founders Fund, the venture capital firm started by Thiel. 

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