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A secretive data-mining company called Palantir made its Wall Street debut



A Controversial Company made its debut on Wall Street

Palantir, a company co-founded 17 years ago by billionaire and vocal libertarian Peter Thiel, finally opened in the markets via a direct listing for public trading with the ticker “PLTR.” It is one of the biggest tech IPOs of the year. The controversial company, which is part of the Big Data and data mining boom, has accumulated $2.6 billion in the past. 

While The Wall Street Journal expected a $10/share and $22 million market value, the reference price turned out to be $7.25 a share with 475.8 million Class A shares open to retail traders and investors during the debut. Now, this translates to a valuation of almost $16 billion. The founders will have at least 49.99% voting power through their Class F shares in perpetuity, even if they sell other shares. 

The company opened trading on the New York Stock Exchange after 1:30 pm ET at $10 a share. The stock closed at $9.50 with an $11.42 high, lower than its opening price. Still, shares remained above the $7.31 and $9.17 average prices where the share turnovers occurred in private trades in August and September, respectively. More so, that gained the company a valuation of almost $21 billion

The Company; Boon or Bane? 

The company, which has long veiled itself in secrecy, once acknowledged that its technology is used to kill people. An early investor in the company was the Central Intelligence Agency, and Palantir’s technology was used to locate Osama bin Laden while clearing terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. The financial backing received from the CIA made it one of the most valuable private companies in the United States. It even earned a privileged seat at the table in meeting with President Donald Trump, along with some of the biggest tech companies. Palantir also provides governments and corporations with tools to help everything, including tracking the novel coronavirus’s spread. According to the company, one of its goals is to “become the default operating system for data across the US government.” 

The data-mining company said the US government agencies using its software includes the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Army, Navy and Air Force. 

As for how Palantir’s stock will perform in the future, Kathleen Smith, a principal at Renaissance Capital, manages exchange-traded funds focused on IPOs, told CNN Business that regular IPOs have been “flying off the shelf.” One example cited is Zoom’s stock’s popularity since it opened for public trading in April 2019. 

Smith mentioned how well the market had regarded zoom’s stock since it started trading in public in April 2019, for example. This month, snowflake, a data storage firm, became the biggest software IPO ever when it raised $3.4 billion. However, according to Smith, there is not enough pattern to understand how investors will soon view direct listings.  

Jinel Franco is a Multi-Media Artist and a Content Marketing Strategist. For the past 3 years, she has helped several companies and individuals bring out the best of their brand with quality content and media.

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