Palantir Technologies, which offers analysis tools to government agencies and financial firms, has raised $90 million in a fourth round of funding. And the investment came with an impressive valuation — $735 million.
The funding was first reported in TechCrunch, and Palantir has confirmed the news via email.
So what is the company doing to earn such a tremendous valuation? Palantir isn’t revealing whether it’s profitable, but it did say that its revenues have doubled every year for the past three years. Here’s a blog post explaining the product:
You could say that we help summarize large data sets, in the sense that we have to provide the analyst with a rich library of techniques and algorithms. You could also say that we do visualization, in the sense that we have to provide the analyst with a set of interesting and informative ways of visualizing their data. We do both of these things, and we have to be creative and solve hard problems in order to add value in these areas. But we do a lot more than that.
Probably the most central hard problem that we address in trying to enable the analyst is data modeling, the process of figuring out what data types are relevant to a domain, defining what they represent in the world, and deciding how to represent them in the system. At Palantir we make sure our data model (ontology) is both flexible and dynamic, and that it mirrors the concepts people naturally use when reasoning about the domain. This is no small challenge, but we’re already making it a reality. In finance our basic data types include financial instruments, dates, portfolios, indices, and strategies—the same things that financial researchers think about, talk about, and reason with. In the intelligence product our basic data types include people, places, and events (all with associated properties), which is exactly the way we all represent the world in our minds.
Founded in 2005, Palantir is named after the magical seeing stones in Lord of the Rings. The round was led by Founders Fund, with participation from Youniversity Ventures, Glynn Capital, Miriam Rivera’s Ulu Ventures, Jeremy Stoppleman, Ben Ling, and others.