Palantir has gone from a secretive data-mining startup that received early funding from CIA investment arm In-Q-Tel to a Silicon Valley giant that does contract work for the world’s largest government agencies, banks and corporations. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, Palantir has received more than $215 million in U.S. government contract work since 2009, while FORBES estimates that the company took in about $450 million in revenue in 2013.
Much of Palantir’s transformation and business success has come down to the work of Karp, a social theory Ph.D. who cofunded the company with Stephen Cohen, Joe Lonsdale, Nathan Gettings and his former Stanford Law School classmate Peter Thiel.
It raised more than $450 million at a $9 billion valuation last year, and total investment in the company has exceeded $1 billion. That money has been raised from a host of well-connected investors including billionaires Kenneth Langone and Stanley Druckenmiller; CIA venture arm In-Q-Tel; Tiger Global Management; and Thiel’s venture firm, Founders Fund. Thiel, Palantir’s chairman, is also its largest shareholder.
Karp is the company’s second largest individual shareholder and will join his former classmate in the 10-figure fortune club when Palantir closes its latest investment.
(Source: wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Karp)
Karp was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Central High School in 1985.[Karp has a bachelor's degree from Haverford College, a J.D. from Stanford University, and a doctorate in neoclassical social theory from Frankfurt University. Karp's advisor at Frankfurt University was the well-known German critical theorist, sociologist and philosopher, Jürgen Habermas, a student of Theodor Adorno, a leading thinker of the Frankfurt School.