✍️ What is Palantir?
Introducing Palantir Technologies with simple words #89
Editor: Emanuele Marabella
After nearly two years and over 150 articles, I'm returning to the basics.
In the early days of Palantir Bullets, the web was saturated with introductory pieces on Palantir ( PLTR 0.00%↑ ) , prompting me to delve directly into the financial intricacies. However, Palantir has undergone significant transformations, as has its pool of investors.
This shift leads me to believe that much of the existing information is either obsolete or lacks the depth required to properly inform potential new investors.
Refreshing this information could also provide current investors with an updated and comprehensive understanding of the company.
👋 Hi, I’m Arny . Please hit the ❤️ button if you enjoy today’s article.
What is Palantir?
First, let me briefly introduce Palantir.
Palantir is a software company aimed at tackling the most difficult problems of government organizations and companies, from targeting the general of enemy troops with satellites to helping the vaccine distribution during a pandemic or dramatically improving the efficiency of an oil drill.
In particular, we could describe Palantir as software to:
integrate and have all data in a single pane of glass called “Ontology”;
understand data with business analytics;
create and manage AI models;
build easily tailored software applications on top of it to drive efficiency;
implement decisions and record the impact for future recommendations.
Palantir is not a simple software application. It is an operating system that makes the digital transformation from an idea to a reality, regardless of the industry.
The consequence is that Palantir’s TAM is essentially limitless.
Unlocking the power of Lego bricks
If this sounds complicated, here is an analogy with Lego (h/t @PalantirChad) :
We can think of Palantir as the platform that helps you make sense of your unstructured Lego bricks so that you can quickly find specific pieces when you need them.
However, Palantir doesn’t only help you organize your bricks by color in a visually appealing way. Palantir also provides the tools to:
build new things with the arranged Lego;
show you step-by-step instructions on how to build them;
come up with new ideas by combining items differently.
By performing these tasks, Palantir products can enable value in the order of billion dollars:
The core idea is that once you have a full understanding of the operating context, be that a battlefield, a plane, or your entire organization, you can make effective decisions backed by reliable data.
Palantir helps any entity improve its decisions and, therefore its output.
When we say “Palantir” we refer to a platform, but, in reality, each product is comprised of hundreds of products.
Despite this, it was only in 2021 that Palantir started selling these granular services as modules rather than a monolithic product to facilitate sales.
Let’s go straight to the heart of the business.
Palantir has two core platforms, Gotham and Foundry, which are supported by two additional products which are transversal to the Government and Commercial side.
Here is a quick explanation:
Gotham: the operating system for Governments, focused on decision-making in high-stakes environments. Gotham’s key use cases include:
managing military operations, from mission planning to enemy targeting;
providing antiterrorism intelligence;
supporting disaster response like a hurricane or earthquake.
Foundry: the operating system for the modern enterprise. Foundry can power organizations in any sector and is currently deployed among more than 40 verticals. Different from many SaaS products that target a specific tier of operators, Foundry’s goal is to empower all employees of the organization, be they technical operators, business analysts, or C-suite decision-makers. As Windows OS makes PCs usable, Palantir Foundry empowers enterprises to unleash the power of their data. A few examples of Foundry usage:
facilitate the production of Panasonic batteries,
ramp up production of the Airbus A350,
and help BP extract more oil at a fraction of the cost.
Here is a short video showing how Foundry empowers Energy companies:
Artificial Intelligence Platform (“AIP”): the newest product aimed to help clients surf the AI revolution by operationalizing Large Language Models (“LLMs”) like ChatGPT or LLaMA. These models are powerful but when applied to a business context they pose operations at risk by providing wrong answers (“hallucination”). AIP is a module that integrates with the other Palantir platforms. With AIP companies can leverage the strengths of LLMs while knowing that models provide reliable answers and support to operations while respecting guardrails. The reliability of AIP lies in the ability to connect with the digital twin of the organization (“Ontology) and provide tools to “instruct” the models. In particular AIP:
helps create virtual AI assistants that could provide in-platform help in the form of chat on queries and on building data pipelines and applications from natural language descriptions (“AIP Assist”);
construct agents to automatically perform anything from alert remediation and scheduling to other common enterprise tasks (“AIP Logic”);
orchestrate multiple AI agents created with AIP Logic which help the operator’s decision-making process with proposals and scenarios (“AIP Automate”).
The video below shows how AIP could generate a significant advantage on the battlefield:
The video by Chad Wahlquist below shows how effectively AIP can help decision making in critical environments:
Apollo: is the brain behind the Palantir platforms. Initially developed to facilitate updates of Gotham and Foundry, Apollo delivers and manages software at scale in an efficient manner. Palantir started commercializing this platform in 2022. While the other platforms are meant to be used by potentially all operators, Apollo targets software engineers to make their lives easier. In particular Apollo:
facilitates software continuous delivery, even at the edge;
ensures the software is compliant and secure;
unlocks multi-cloud by allowing to write code once that works in any cloud (AWS, Azure, or GCP).
Last year I wrote a dedicated article on Apollo, explaining how its freemium model can facilitate sales toward IT departments:
Below you can also find a video explaining Apollo:
“The problems and needs of an organization often change before the software can even be deployed. Our partners require something more. They need generalizable platforms for modeling the world and making decisions. And that is what we have built.” - Alex Karp, Palantir CEO
Palantir is a software company tackling the most difficult problems of government and commercial entities.
Tough problems are big problems by definition. So it is the potential opportunity we face as investors if Palantir can contribute to solving them.
If this article helped you better understand Palantir please hit the ❤️ button and consider supporting my research with a paid subscription.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed above are current as of the date of this document and are subject to change without notice. Materials referenced above will be provided for educational purposes only. None of the above will include investment advice, a recommendation or an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities or investment products.