It turns out the NSA scandal has not hurt the surveillance industry. Far from it. According to a recent RT news report, Palantir, a software company, that in the past has done business with the CIA and other U.S. government agencies and offices, has pulled in close to $200 million in funds. How long did it take them to raise the cash? In less than a month.
Who are the investors that enabled Palantir to raise $200 million? The San Francisco Business Times cited 15 unnamed investors. But one thing is clear. Morgan Stanley & C0. will be benefiting, as it appears they will rake in $4 million for being involved with the deal. Furthermore, Palantir is estimated to be worth upwards of $8 billion.
Not much, however, is known about Palantir. Apparently, the company has been able to stay under the radar, at least until Forbes did a cover story of the software company last month. In that story, Andy Greenberg and Ryan Mac showed Palantir’s direct ties to the FBI, NSA, and a venture fund – In-Q-Tel- of the CIA. These agencies have been clients of Palantir for years.
What exactly does Palantir offer these agencies?
According to Greenberg and Mac, the company, “[i]n the last five years . . . has become the go-to company for mining massive data sets for intelligence and law enforcement applications, with a slick software interface and coders who parachute into clients’ headquarters to customize its programs. Palantir turns messy swamps of information into intuitively visualized maps, histograms and link charts.”
With this ability to mine massive sets of data, the company can collect, organize, and explain terrorism, human trafficking, and disaster responses. Government officials who had to contend with the 9/11 attacks have explained that the company’s tools are so effective, they wish such things had existed at that time.
While the company has helped map data for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, it has now set its sights on business at home. And as a result of how effective its tools are, the company is now one of the most powerful and richest in the tech industry.