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  1. Feb 2019
    1. Peter Thiel’s Secretive Data Giant Palantir Finally Raking in Cash Maureen Farrell February 07, 2019 Palantir Technologies Inc., the secretive data firm co-founded by investor Peter Thiel, posted a jump in business in 2018 as it prepares for a long-awaited public offering, according to people briefed on the figures. Palantir pulled in about $880 million in revenue, up from about $600 million one year earlier, the people say. The cash boost is a relief to Palantir investors and employees, who have been waiting years on an initial public offering. Palantir is in advanced conversations with investment bankers about an IPO expected for as soon this year. The potential offering is among the most closely watched in a slew of expected Silicon Valley technology company debuts this year. Palantir is in advanced conversations with investment bankers about an IPO it is planning to launch in the second half of 2019, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. The potential offering is among the most closely watched in a slew of expected Silicon Valley technology company debuts this year. While the 15-year old company hasn’t yet turned an annual profit, its executives have said they expect one this year, according to investors. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Palantir has attempted in fits and starts to transform its business. Once known primarily for its government software work—its analytics were credited with helping track down Osama bin Laden—Palantir is now branching into outright for-profit corporate work. Palantir is one of a host of technology companies valued at over $1 billion in the private markets—“unicorns”—looking to prove the long-term worth of their businesses ahead of an IPO. The investor Peter Thiel co-founded Palantir, which has expanded from government software analytics to for-profit corporate work.Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images Ride-hailing firms Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. and workplace-messaging company Slack Technologies Inc. recently filed confidential offerings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These companies, like Palantir, earlier opted to raise money privately in an era of easy money for startups of all stripes. Palantir has raised around $2.5 billion in total, and was most recently valued at $20 billion in a private fundraising round in 2015. The company’s revenue results for last year exceed the roughly $750 million figure it told investors and employees to expect. Cash received, one of the company’s preferred metrics, was up 42%, one person briefed on the results said. Technology investors expect strong growth in a company’s early days; seven-year old Snap Inc. this week posted a 36% year-over-year rise in revenue this year. The reasons for Palantir’s success are twofold: The corporate side, with clients like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Credit Suisse Group AG , has rebounded. Palantir’s new, off-the-rack software system, dubbed Foundry, makes it easier and cheaper for the company to serve big businesses. In recent presentations to staff, company executives said that corporate business constituted roughly two-thirds of total revenue, from around half a year ago. Palantir’s government arm separately continues to make money, in part thanks to a tradition of dismissing internal and external criticism about its affiliation with unpopular agencies worldwide. The company late last year signed a $42 million contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a filing shows. Some Palantir staffers and civil rights advocates have criticized Palantir’s ICE ties, but the company has responded that it won’t let short-term politics sway its business decisions. Its largest investor, PayPal Holdings Inc. co-founder Mr. Thiel, is an outspoken supporter of libertarian causes and President Trump. The better-than-projected financial results are a buoy to Palantir’s executives and advisers as they finalize IPO plans, people briefed on the matter say. While Palantir is still not likely to go public before the second half of this year, it may file confidential paperwork beginning the process earlier, the people say. That would be an acceleration of a time frame that earlier looked to stretch into 2020. Write to Rob Copeland at rob.copeland@wsj.com and Maureen Farrell at maureen.farrell@wsj.com


    1. Chapter 12 bankruptcy, created during the 1980s farm crisis, allows distressed family farmers or fishermen to devise a plan to repay creditors over three to five years. Only farms with debts that don’t exceed about $4.1 million may file for the protection.

      Farm bankruptcy

    1. Lon Frahm may represent the future of farming. Inside a two-story office building overshadowed by 80-foot steel grain bins, he points to a map showing the patchwork of square and circular fields that make up his operation. It covers nearly 10% of the county’s cropland, and when he climbs into his Cessna Skylane to check crops from the air, he can fly 30 miles before reaching the end of his land. At 30,600 acres, his farm is among the country’s vastest, and it yields enough corn and wheat each year to fill 4,500 semitrailer trucks.

      Farm size

    1. Then, a roughly 50% drop in land values and rising interest rates led to high levels of debt when viewed as a percentage of farmers' assets. That forced many farmers out of business and spurred failures among dozens of agricultural lenders. Farmers' debt-to-asset ratio is currently estimated at 10.3%, less than half what it was in 1985, according to the USDA.

      farm liquidity ratio