Palantir's new valuation of $20b makes the company the fourth highest valued startup. Palantir was formed 11 year's ago out of technology developed by PayPal. Today, the company sells software to government agencies and Wall Street.r
The company’s data-mining software lets government agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigations quickly visualize relationships among large amounts of data. The inputs could be anything—phone numbers, bank records, friend lists, photos of license plates. The software reportedly helped the U.S. government track down Osama bin Laden. According to USAspending.gov, a federal site that publishes government contracts, Palantir since 2009 has received more than $215 million dollars in contracts with the FBI, the Defense Department and Homeland Security. Much of its business also comes from the banking, insurance, retail, healthcare and oil and gas industries. Palantir’s software grew out of technology developed by PayPal Inc., the online payment platform, whose engineers initially sought to uncover fraud.