Silicon Valley's most secretive startup raises $880m

Numbers

Palantir Technologies, an ultra-secretive "big data" startup in Silicon Valley, has raised a whopping $880 million, according to a filing from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday.

The funding round values the company at $20 billion, making it the fourth most highly-valued tech startup in the world behind Uber, Xiaomi and Airbnb.

This is the latest part of a funding round that began in July and raised $679.8 million earlier this month, according to the filing. The Palo Alto, California-based firm has now raised to over $2 billion.

The 12-year-old startup uses so-called big data – massive data sets that can be analyzed by computers to reveal trends and hopefully lead to better decision-making – and applies it to a areas ranging from defense to fraud.

It is considered one of the most secretive Silicon Valley companies, with clients including the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company was rumored to have helped provide the data that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, although this has never been confirmed.

CNBC has reached out to Palantir to ask what it intends to do with the money raised but is yet to receive a reply.

It is likely that the money will be spent on further developing its technology.

Morgan Stanley and S F Sentry Securities were brokers on the fundraising deal and earned themselves $32 million in commissions, according to the SEC filing. Backers include In-Q-Tel, a not-for-profit venture capital firm that invests in technology companies in order to support U.S. intelligence agencies, and Founders Fund.

PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel, is Palantir's chairman and a partner at Founders Fund, another venture capital firm investing in technology companies.