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  • Writer's pictureAmit Kukreja

Why Palantir's Work with the Government Deepens its Moat in Commercial

In a recent Palantir Weekly podcast episode, Grogu, a prominent investor, talked about the importance of the government in Palantir's commercial success. Grogu stated that Palantir's advantage in the government sector would allow it to scale down to commercial operations. The government provides a valuable case study that commercial clients can utilize. Palantir has proved to be a vital partner to the United States government, particularly during the pandemic, when the firm helped with vaccine distribution.

The military is responsible for a significant portion of the technology that is used in consumer products today, including GPS and dating apps. Palantir's work with the government gives it an advantage over other firms that may not have access to these resources. The United States Department of Defense has a significant budget, which provides ample funding for companies like Palantir.

Furthermore, the government's contracts with Palantir are sticky, meaning that the government's reliance on Palantir's technology is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Even if Palantir does not get paid on time, the government will continue to require the firm's technology. Alex Karp, the CEO of Palantir, has stated that for the past ten years, the company has experienced a CAGR of 35% year-over-year growth in the government business.

The company has also collaborated with other defense contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, to deliver software for integrated combat systems for the Navy. Palantir's government contracts also deepen its moat in the commercial sector. The commercial sector can benefit from Palantir's experience with the government, particularly in the use of AI in the battlefield, which is one of the most challenging applications of the technology.

Palantir's ability to solve problems that nobody else is solving, particularly for the government, is what has enabled it to grow as a company. The government provides a critical case study for the commercial sector that demonstrates the capabilities of Palantir's technology. The company's experience with the government will also enable it to commercialize its products more effectively.

Palantir's stronghold within the government provides a significant moat that protects the company during tough economic times. This moat is fortified by the fact that the government is one of the few entities that will continue to spend, even during economic downturns. This is because the government's primary function is to provide essential services to its citizens, including national security, healthcare, and social services, which require ongoing funding, regardless of the state of the economy.

Moreover, Palantir's government contracts tend to be long-term and sticky, providing reliable revenue streams for the company. The nature of the government's bureaucratic processes and procurement policies also means that once a company like Palantir has established itself as a trusted supplier, it becomes more challenging for competitors to break in, even during tough economic times. This gives Palantir a significant advantage over its rivals, as it can weather economic downturns more comfortably than other companies, ensuring that it can continue to invest in its business and maintain its competitive edge.

The government's complex requirements and regulations also act as a barrier to entry for competitors, further strengthening Palantir's moat. Companies need to have the resources, expertise, and experience to navigate the government's procurement processes and regulatory frameworks, which can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Palantir has spent years building up its reputation and expertise within the government, and this experience gives it an advantage over rivals who lack this expertise. This makes it difficult for competitors to challenge Palantir's dominance within the government, further strengthening its moat and protecting it during tough economic times.

Palantir's government contracts are proof that the company is capable of providing solutions to complex problems. The firm's work with SpaceX is another example of how doing the hardest thing first can lead to significant growth opportunities. SpaceX initially launched four rockets, which were expensive, to create a reusable rocket. This enabled the company to land contracts with NASA, which helped it to scale. Palantir's work with the government is similar in that it is doing the most difficult work first.

In conclusion. the company's government contracts are proof that it can provide solutions to complex problems, which is essential for its continued success. Palantir's work with defense contractors and other government agencies also provides significant growth opportunities. The company's experience with the government makes it a vital partner to both government and commercial clients alike.

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