(Bloomberg) -- Palantir Technologies Inc. has won a $250 million contract with the US Defense Department to research and develop artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.
The new three-year deal demonstrates the company’s closeness to the US government, as well as its growing presence at the intersection of AI and defense.
Palantir’s shares, which have rallied this year on AI promises, rose 6% Wednesday following the announcement Tuesday.
The deal for AI services will build on the work Palantir has been doing since at least 2018 for the Army Research Lab. Under the new contract, the company will “conduct research and development services” in AI and machine learning, according to the announcement. A Palantir spokesperson declined to provide additional details on the contract’s scope.
Co-founded by Peter Thiel following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, Palantir secured its first funding from the venture arm of the Central Intelligence Agency. The company struggled to sell its software and services to the government for the first decade — even suing the US Army at one point to force it to be a customer — before emerging as one of a small handful of Silicon Valley startups with tight Defense Department relationships.
William Blair analyst Louie DiPalma said in a research note that the company’s latest deal isn’t likely to have a huge impact on its profit, particularly because services deals often have lower margins than software deals. But he also said the contract is a sign of the company’s closeness with the US and “bodes well” for its fourth-quarter and 2024 revenue growth.
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