Palantir, the extremely secretive Silicon Valley data-mining startup said to be valued at over $20 billion, has had a rough year with lots of turnover and big-name customers canceling their deals, BuzzFeed reports.
That article, based on confidential information and interviews with six past and current employees, provides our best look yet at the famously cagey Palantir.
Here are its highlights:
- In the last 13 months, big-ticket customers Coca-Cola, Nasdaq, and American Express have decided not to continue their relationship with Palantir, seemingly because of its price tag, which would reportedly hit $18 million for the final year of a five-year contract. In fact, Palantir’s software can run up to $1 million per month. More than 100 employees, including managers, have left Palantir in 2016 through April 15. If that rate continues, it’ll have 20% turnover for the calendar year – more than double its turnover in past years. Palantir’s CEO and cofounder, Alex Karp, announced a 20% pay raise for anyone who was there longer than 18 months and canceled employee performance reviews, saying that their system wasn’t working. Palantir was not profitable in 2015, and spent more than $500 million. While Palantir has said that it brings in $1.7 billion in “bookings” annually, it actually collected only around $420 million in cash.
Palantir did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. But Palantir representatives tell BuzzFeed, according to that report, that its business is strong and growing – and that, sometimes, Palantir just isn’t a great fit for every customer.
The company has raised $2.42 billion in investment capital since its founding in 2004. Famed PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel and well-known investor Joe Lonsdale are Palantir cofounders and remain involved in the company.