Palantir says it hasn’t turned a profit any year since 2003 founding

  • Palantir publicly filed stock-listing paperwork on Tuesday and revealed nearly $580 million in 2019 losses. 
  • The company said it has “incurred losses each year” since its founding in 2003.  
  • Like other money-losing companies have recently warned in their paperwork before going public, Palantir said it may never turn a profit.
  • Palantir reported in its key filing that it narrowed losses to some $165 million in the first half of this year from a loss of $280.5 million during the first half of 2019. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Palantir, which was founded in 2003, is an old-timer in tech years. But despite its many years in business, the data analytics company has never had a profitable year. 

Palantir opened its books for the first time on Tuesday when it filed the paperwork for a direct stock-listing. The company reported a net loss of roughly $580 million in 2019, and an almost identically-sized loss in 2018.

Like other money-losing companies looking to go public in recent years, Palantir warned investors that it may never turn a profit. And it noted that it has “incurred losses each year” since its founding.

Palantir generated nearly $743 million in revenue last year, a 25% rise from 2018’s revenue of $595 million.

The company has two major products: Gotham, which helps government defense and intelligence agencies mine data to find revealing patterns, and Foundry, which helps businesses analyze their data.

The company is newly headquartered in Denver, Colorado and was previously based in Palo Alto, California in the heart of Silicon Valley. Palantir was founded by a group of alumni from PayPal, including current chief executive Alex Karp and the venture capitalist Peter Thiel. 

Palantir’s 20 largest customers, as far as revenue generated, last year contributed 67% of its total revenue.  The average revenue per customer was $5.6 million; the company said it had 125 customers in total, including the US Army, Navy and Air Force, the Center for Disease Control and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But losses are narrowing this year…

Palantir’s losses for the first half of this year narrowed to some $165 million from a loss of $280.5 million during the first half of 2019. The company attributed that performance to increased revenue and slashing the time and number of software engineers it needs to install its software. 

During the first six months of this year, it generated some $481 million in revenue, marking a 49% rise compared to the same time last year, when it booked some $323 million in revenue.  

The company said it will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “PLTR,” and would debut in a direct listing over a traditional initial public offering.

Disclosure: Palantir Technologies CEO Alexander Karp is a member of Axel Springer’s shareholder committee. Axel Springer owns Insider Inc, Business Insider’s parent company.

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