Home » Companies owned by America’s sixth-richest Black billionaire, Alex Karp

Companies owned by America’s sixth-richest Black billionaire, Alex Karp

Karp's $1.9 billion fortune underscores the success of African-American entrepreneurs in the tech sector.

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Alex Karp

Alexander Karp, an African-American tech billionaire, currently serves as the co-founder and CEO of Palantir Technologies, a prominent AI and big data analytics firm in Silicon Valley.

Ranked as the sixth-richest Black billionaire in the United States, Karp trails behind Robert F. Smith, David Steward, Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, and Oprah Winfrey. Karp’s journey started with a philosophy degree from Haverford College, leading him into money management with the establishment of the London-based Caedmon Group. This early experience foreshadowed his future role in spearheading a data-centric company.

After obtaining a PhD from Goethe University, Frankfurt, Karp collaborated with PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel to launch Palantir. Initially focused on government contracts for data analysis software, the company played a pivotal role in investigations and counterterrorism efforts from 2004 onwards.

Palantir has evolved into a key player in data analytics, expanding its influence in the tech sector. With a market capitalization exceeding $37 billion, Karp’s strategic emphasis on innovation and key acquisitions, including the launch of Palantir Foundry for Manufacturing on AWS (Amazon Web Services), has allowed the company to diversify its clientele. Palantir Foundry empowers users to leverage manufacturing data throughout its entire lifecycle.

Karp’s $1.9-billion fortune underscores the success of African-American entrepreneurs in the tech sector. Holding a 2.63-percent ownership stake in Palantir Technologies, listed on Nasdaq, a company co-founded by Karp in 2003 alongside Peter Thiel, Nathan Gettings, Joe Lonsdale, and Stephen Cohen, his wealth continues to grow, solidifying his position among the world’s wealthiest Black individuals.

Billionaires.Africa has identified several companies and holdings associated with Karp, including four where he holds direct or indirect ownership: 

  1. The Caedmon Group
    The Caedmon Group is a London-based money and asset management firm founded by Karp in the early 2000s. Operating in the Management Consulting industry, it specializes in strategy and capital consulting. Karp’s innovative approach, integrating big-data intelligence analytics software into social-purpose missions, led to the co-founding of Palantir in 2003.
  1. Palantir Technologies
    Palantir Technologies, a leading AI and big data analytics firm, was co-founded and is led by Karp. The public American company, with about 30 subsidiaries, has witnessed remarkable performance under his leadership. Karp’s strategic vision has facilitated both the U.S. commercial and government sectors in harnessing the power of large language models tailored to their proprietary datasets. Recent achievements include clinching a $250-million contract with the United States Defense Department to advance research and development in AI and machine learning.
  1. Economist Group
    The Economist Group, headquartered in London, is renowned as the publisher of The Economist newspaper and its sister lifestyle magazine. Specializing in international business and world affairs information, the group has a global presence. Karp also serves on the board of The Economist Group, contributing his expertise to its strategic direction.
  1. Palantir Foundation
    Karp serves as the chairman of The Palantir Foundation for Defense and International Affairs, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing national security through academic and technical research, support of emerging technologies, and policy development. Under Karp’s guidance, the foundation supports post-graduate academic research in various fields, including information technology, the physical sciences, philosophy, law, and international affairs.

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