The secretive CIA-backed enterprise data powerhouse Palantir has acquired Silk, the maker of a data publishing platform that allows individuals to create interactive charts and maps.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but San Francisco and Amsterdam-based Silk confirmed the deal in a blog post today in which Silk co-founder Salar al Khafaji wrote that the company started with the goal of “helping people get the most out of their data.”
“When we met the Palantir team, we realized that we could work on even bigger and more important data problems with an incredibly talented team – even if it meant no longer working on the Silk product,” he wrote. “We decided to join Palantir because we believe we can achieve a larger impact there than we could at Silk alone.”
Silk’s offering is somewhat reminiscent of Seattle-based Tableau, and, in fact, the two companies share some common venture capital DNA. One of Silk’s primary backers is NEA, the Silicon Valley venture capital powerhouse that also backed Tableau. Some have also speculated that Tableau could be a M&A candidate.
A Tableau spokesman said they were not familiar with Silk, but added that they are happy that the demand for analytics continues to grow. “This is helping to raise awareness of the benefits of seeing and understanding data,” the spokesman said.
Salar al Khafaji also provided an update on the continuing operations of Silk. He wrote:
Silk.co as a platform will continue to operate. Nothing will change to current Silks, and you can still create a new Silk for free. However, because of our new roles at Palantir, Silk.co will operate “as is” and we will not be able to provide technical or customer support to new or existing Silk accounts any longer, nor will we be doing any further development work or adding new features to the hosted Silk.co product.
Palo Alto-based Palantir, a big data company which works with government agencies and large corporations, is said to be valued at between $12 billion and $20 billion. It opened a Seattle engineering office last year, joining a number of Silicon Valley tech titans that have arrived in Seattle in recent years.
Here’s a closer look at Silk: