The third most valuable startup in the United States may not be who you would expect. It’s Palantir, a secretive data processing firm whose clients range from the CIA and NSA to the world’s wealthiest banks and hedge funds. On Tuesday, Palantir revealed a valuation of $20 billion as part of a new round of funding.
According to BuzzFeed News, which broke news of the valuation, the company is currently raising up to $500 million in new capital from investors. The big-data firm–first funded by the CIA and other intelligence agency investors to build custom analysis tools–has more than $215 million in known contracts with government agencies sewn up, along with clientele at multiple Fortune 500 firms. The company now ranks behind only Uber and Airbnb in terms of valuation.
Palantir has grown its intelligence agency roots into what appears to be an extremely successful profit model from the outside. For what it’s worth, the company also has that rarest of assets in Silicon Valley–positive Glassdoor reviews.