An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Palantir, a Silicon Valley company with strong links to the defense and intelligence communities, is poised to be the latest in a string of tech companies to offer shares on Wall Street well before turning a profit. The company sent financial documents to its investors on Thursday night, ahead of its planned debut on the public markets this year. The documents, obtained by The New York Times, offer the first full look into the company’s financials and operations and show growing operating expenses as well as deep losses.
Palantir’s revenue in 2019 was $742.5 million, nearly 25 percent more than the year before. Its net loss of $580 million was about the same as 2018. And expenses were up 2 percent in 2019 to a little more than $1 billion. The company, which has raised more than $3 billion in funding and is valued by private market investors at $20 billion, has not turned a profit since it was founded in 2003. As early as 2014, Palantir hadfanned expectations that it would soon hit $1 billion in revenue. Six years later, it appears to be closing in on that goal. In the first six months of this year, Palantir’s revenue was $481 million. According to the documents, first reported by TechCrunch, Palantir plans to go public via a direct listing, “in which no new shares are issued and no new funds are raised,” the report says. “In most direct listings, shareholders are not bound by a traditional lockup period before they can sell their stock. But Palantir has imposed a 180-day lockup period. It will allow shareholders to sell 20 percent of their common stock immediately, but they must wait for the lockup to expire to sell more.”
“Palantir has arranged a structure to ensure that its founders retain power. They have a special class of shares, Class F, that will have a variable number of votes to ensure the founders control 49.999999 percent of the company’s voting power, even if they sell some of their shares. The company argued to its investors that this structure would allow it to stay ‘Founder-led’ after it went public.”
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