Industry

Palantir wants to be the ‘central operating system for all US defense programs’

WASHINGTON — Palantir, the Silicon Valley-based software company that successfully sued the Army in 2016, wants to become “the central operating system for all U.S. defense programs," the company wrote in paperwork filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its initial public offering.

The software company, known for its controversial work with the U.S. government, went public on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday said that it wants its big data analytics platforms to “become the default operating system for data across the U.S. government.”

Palantir, according to the filing, views the U.S. government’s push toward alternative acquisition methods as a primary opportunity to for their company to grow. The federal government, particularly the Defense Department, is increasingly using what’s known as Other Transaction Authorities and Small Business innovation Research contracts to eliminate the long timelines associated with the traditional contracting process. In 2019, research showed that those types of awards accounted for nearly 10 percent of the department’s research, development, test and evaluation spending.

“Our software is well positioned for this new procurement approach. Our platforms have been tested and improved over years of use across industries and can rapidly be deployed by the government with minor configurations. This gives us a significant edge over contractors selling custom tools,” the filing states.

Palantir expects that there is $26 billion worth of work in the federal space, the filing stated.

The company offers two big data analytics platforms, Foundry and Gotham, for data-driven decisionmaking by its customers. According to the filing, the company is currently working with Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Special Operations Command and “other defense agencies,” along with several other civilian agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The filing also states that the Army uses the platform to “keep one million troops ready for their missions, and every battalion in the U.S. Army uses our software for intelligence analysis.”

In its filing, the the company specifically cites the DoD’s $144 billion in fiscal 2020 on procurement funds and $105 billion on research, development, testing, and evaluation dollars as areas where its software “can contribute to programs covered by both of those budgets.”

In 2016, Palantir sued the Army over its procurement strategy for an intelligence analysis system. After winning that case, which forced the Army to seek commercial solutions before building their own system. Since winning the case in 2018, the company has received $134.5 million in revenue from Army accounts, up from about $52 million in the previous 10 years.

“Our victory in federal court is transforming the procurement of goods and services across the U.S. federal government,” the filing states. “For us, this shift in government acquisition represents a significant expansion of our [total addressable market] with the U.S. federal government. We are working towards becoming the central operating system for all U.S. defense program.”

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