Data analytics firm Palantir said it has confidentially filed paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to go public.
Palantir is planning public listing of the Class A common stock, but has not disclosed the size of the listing. It is not known whether Palantir will pursue a traditional initial public offering or a direct listing.
Co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel in 2004, becoming a publicly listed company would shine an increased spotlight on Palantir’s financials and activities.
The company is known for working on sensitive US government projects, such as tracking illegal immigrants and terrorist networks.
It previously helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden, and is currently contracted by parts of the UK military and the NHS to help in the computing of coronavirus data.
Thiel himself is also a controversial figure, having become a prominent donor to US President Donald Trump’s campaign in recent years.
Palantir’s UK office, a major headquarters for the company, is based in Soho with around 600 staff. The arm is spearheaded by Louis Mosley, grandson of British politician Sir Oswald Mosley.
People familiar with the matter told Reuters last month that Palantir had been encouraged by recent successful IPOs on Wall Street, and wants to cash in on the current market.
The listing could go ahead as soon as September this year, with Morgan Stanley reported to be in line for a leading role.
Palantir has not publicly raised money since a funding round in 2015, which valued the firm at $20bn — meaning its debut would be the largest listing for a tech firm since Uber last year.
Reports last September suggested Palantir was seeking to raise another round at a valuation of $26bn.
However in the private market, its shares have been trading in recent weeks at a valuation of between $10bn and $12bn, market sources told Reuters.