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Palantir CEO says its unconventional boot camps are drawing crowds and driving sales: 'It's like a rock concert'

Sarah Jackson   

Palantir CEO says its unconventional boot camps are drawing crowds and driving sales: 'It's like a rock concert'
  • Palantir has taken an unusual approach to sales, traditionally avoiding hiring a large salesforce.
  • It's been putting on boot camps to attract customers, per Bloomberg.

Palantir has shunned the traditional means of software sales for many years, and though the company has a salesforce now, it's still using a bit of an unconventional approach to drum up business.

The data mining company, cofounded by PayPal Mafia member Peter Thiel, has been holding software boot camps to recruit new customers, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

At one such camp in Pontiac, Michigan, speakers gave presentations, attendees tried out Palantir's software for themselves, and happy hour even featured a professional driver taking attendees for rides on a racetrack outside, according to Bloomberg.

Palantir has been leaning into the events to sell its Artificial Intelligence Platform, or AIP. The company put on over 500 boot camps last year and expects to average five camps a day globally this year, according to Bloomberg.

"We can't do enough of them," CEO Alex Karp said in the company's Q4 earnings call. "We're limiting the number of people who can come. It's like a rock concert. It's like, yeah, yeah, if you know somebody, we can get you backstage."

"We're already overfilled for our AIP boot camp," he added in the earnings call. "And it's just we don't know how to deal actually with this demand."

Still, one thing Palantir is hoping for is that the people who attend the camps then go away knowing how to use its tools — and how to show others how to use them. But some analysts think they need to do more to support growth.

"Right now they need more manpower," Morningstar analyst Malik Ahmed Khan told Bloomberg. Meantime, Rishi Jaluria, managing director of software for RBC Capital Markets, pointed out that "this is very complex software."




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