Palantir, a big data company that has worked with U.S. Army and other government customers, just bought itself a mobile-development startup called Propeller. That’s the second Palantir acquisition this week — and easily the more interesting one.

On its homepage, Propeller reps confirmed the deal. But we’re unclean on exactly what Palantir wants out of Propeller.

“Having tackled many technical challenges facing mobile app creation, we’re eager to solve important problems at Palantir on a global scale,” the Propeller message states.

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Perhaps Palantir merely wants to bolster its mobile development capabilities in order to better meet the needs of its customers. That area lies far away from Palantir’s core strengths, which include analyzing lots of data at scale. Palantir’s acquisition earlier this week of Poptip, which boasted natural-language processing capabilities, seems much more in line with Palantir’s business.

Propeller, which lets people easily build native mobile apps, went through the StartX accelerator at Stanford University in fall 2012. The startup’s market has proven interesting to Microsoft and other companies.

Clay Allsopp and Brian Rowen started Propeller last year.

Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Scott Banister, Foundation Capital, ffAngel, Ashton Kutcher, Max Levchin, Menlo Ventures, Jason Portnoy, Keith Rabois, and Rothenberg Ventures.

Palantir, based in Palo Alto, Calif., should have money left over to buy more startups. It confirmed a $107.5 million funding round late last year.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

More information:

(from Web Site) Palantir Technologies is working to radically change how groups analyze information. Palantir was founded in 2004 by a handful of PayPal alumni and Stanford computer scientists. The company has doubled in size every yea... read more »

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