Palantir to take bitcoin as payment, mulls betting on cryptocurrencies

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: People walk by a banner featuring the logo of Palantir Technologies (PLTR) at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the day of their initial public offering (IPO) in Manhattan, New York City

(Reuters) -Palantir Technologies Inc has started accepting payment in bitcoin and is considering investing in cryptocurrencies, the U.S. analytics provider disclosed, the latest firm to pivot to digital currencies that are gaining wider mainstream acceptance.

Shares of the company rose 7% on Tuesday following the announcement, reversing a 9% slide in premarket trading amid a wider tech rout.

Co-founded in 2003 by billionaire Peter Thiel, Palantir is known mainly for its work with U.S. government defense and intelligence agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency.

Revenue jumped 49% to $341.2 million in the first quarter and beat expectations of $332.23 million, helped by large deals from government agencies and corporations.

Palantir, which enables customers to integrate their data with its software platforms to help them get an analytical view of their operations, expects revenue to rise 43% to $360 million in the current quarter.

Analysts on average were expecting $344.31 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Palantir has courted its share of controversies. Analysts have questioned its reliance on government contracts, while advocacy groups have raised privacy concerns around the vast amount of data it handles.

Excluding items, the company earned 4 cents per share, in line with expectations.

Shares were last up 8% at $19.93 in late-afternoon trading.

The stock hit a peak of $45 on Jan. 27, fueled by its mention on Reddit forum WallStreetBets. Since then, shares have fallen 53% to Monday's close.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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