AI firm Palantir picks UK as Europe HQ

Palantir logo photographed on device

Palantir has chosen the UK as its new European headquarters for AI development. Photo: STRF/STAR MAX/IPx

US tech firm Palantir (PLTR) (0A7R.L) has chosen the UK as its new European headquarters for AI development, as fintech company CAB also eyes a London listing.

The British government said that Palantir’s move showed the strength of the UK’s expertise, and follows plans for the UK to host a major summit on the risk posed by AI. It is pushing for London to become the location for a new global AI regulator, modeled on the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“London is a magnet for the best software engineering talent in the world, and it is the natural choice as the hub for our European efforts to develop the most effective and ethical artificial intelligence software solutions available,” Alexander Karp, Palantir’s founder and chief executive , said.

He added that Britain’s “pragmatism about technology” was one of the main attractions for its European AI research base in Britain.

It comes as Palantir this week struck a deal to provide technology to Panasonic Energy through a multi-year arrangement, whilst previously announcing that it won a special-ops contract valued at up to $463m (£371.64m).

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Karp told BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Thursday: “The UK, as opposed to many places in the world, has a pragmatic understanding of data protection. Data protection is serious but you can actually work within the context of what large-language models do.

“It is going to be much harder for the continent of Europe to actually come to terms with large-language models.

“The culture of privacy in the UK is really built around norms of fairness and understanding and less around GDPR data protection. We can work in conformity with that.”

“He added: “You have talent that is the best in the world, you have a pragmatism about technology and you have a very special relationship with the most important country in the world on AI so far, which is the United States of America .”

Palantir’s stock has surged around 90% over the past month, and is ahead almost 130% on a year-to-date basis.

The news also comes as fintech company CAB Payments eyes an initial public offering (IPO) in London.

The Sutton-based company, which provides business-to-business cross-border payments and foreign exchange services, said it was preparing to float shares on the London Stock Exchange’s main market.

It could fetch a valuation of £800m to over £1bn, according to an estimate by Mergermarket.

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“I am tremendously excited to take the step of listing CAB Payments’ shares via a premium listing,” Bhairav ​​Trivedi, CEO of CAB Payments, said.

“Our intention to list on the London Stock Exchange is a sign of confidence in the high quality offerings we provide to our customers in a large and growing market; confidence in our strong financial profile backed by a track record of revenue and Adjusted EBITDA growth, as well as cash generation; and confidence in the UK as the home for innovative and growing global businesses.”

Last year it reported revenues of £109.9m and pre-tax profits of £43.5m.

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