Palantir, the CIA-backed company that recently emerged "from the shadow world of spies and special ops to take corporate America by storm" is about to announce a new round of funding that values the company at about $9 billion, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The Tolkien-loving big data vacuum has already raised $58 million, but the round could be as high as $100 million, according to the Journal's source. Add that to the $498 million Palantir has already raised.
The company's software has "been a hit with intelligence agencies like the CIA, investigative agencies like the FBI, federal prosecutors, private investigators and others" and interest from investors piqued further when Palantir brought those surveillance state tactics into the private sector.
According to the Journal, both the valuation and size of the company is accelerating rapidly:
The valuation is a 50% increase from September, when Palantir was valued at $6 billion. Palantir disclosed in September it had completed a funding round that raised $196.5 million.
Palantir's employee ranks have been growing as well, to 1,200, from 700 a year ago. Most employees are software engineers, tasked with writing code that can digest vast pools of data and quickly connect dots that would take people months or years to decipher.
Locals have been complaining about Palantir's sucking up all the real estate in Palo Alto, where their security guards are a common sight.
The Palantir effect on Palo Alto downtown & startup ecosystem is *massive*. And not great, I think. Crowding everyone out.
— John Lilly (@johnolilly) May 3, 2013
Thiel sought to apply PayPal's anti-fraud software to fight terrorism, and he bankrolled the company with an initial investment of $30 million from him and his venture-capital fund.
The investors in the new round have not been disclosed. If it's you, quick delete any anti-NSA/spying on American tweets before Palantir posts the Form D.
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