So it’s finally happened. After years of teasing and false starts, Palantir finally IPO’d this week fetching a market value of £17 billion.
For the uninitiated Palantir are one the best regarded, and most secret, Data Analytics companies in the world; well known for their work with US & UK governments, as well as many other defence, security and policing organisations globally. Although in recent years they have started to branch out and work with more private sector companies, Ferrari & Airbus amongst them.
They turned over somewhere in the region of £700 million last year, but are still yet to make a profit. They also generate much of this revenue from a relatively small number of clients.
Neither of these facts will be lost on investors & shareholders, and their IPO is going to attract more intense scrutiny on the company moving forward, with greater pressure to balance revenues across a broader client base and to start turning profits.
Nothing particularly new here, so what does this mean for UK Data Analytics companies?
On the face of it not a lot, but when you consider that Palantir employs more people in the UK than anywhere else in the world, despite being US domiciled, it could have real consequences. UK Data Analytics companies in the private sector may have a major new competitor on their hands.
Given their presence in the UK, and pressures the IPO will bring, it would make sense for Palantir to aggressively go after large deals with major private sector companies in the UK & Europe.
So hold onto your hats, there might be a new sheriff in town!
Having said that there will also be opportunities for companies to tap great Talent from Palantir. Typically companies will shed a lot of great talent in the period post IPO, as equity has been realised and old ways start to change, and Palantir will be no different in the regard.
Well done to Palantir, what a great achievement. Their IPO will present a major new competitor to UK Data Analytics companies in the Private Sector, but it also may present an excellent source of new talent for the opportunistic.