Hungarian-born US investor and philanthropist George Soros delivers a speech on the sideline of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, on January 23, 2020 in Davos, eastern Switzerland.
Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images
Soros Fund Management, the asset management company founded by billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros, has disclosed that it plans to sell its stake in data analytics firm Palantir, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange in September.
Palantir has been described as the company that “knows everything about you” and its software is used by government surveillance agencies around the world for spying purposes. It was co-founded in 2003 by German-American entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who donated to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.
Soros Fund Management announced this week that it “does not approve of Palantir’s business practices.” Palantir did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.
The family office, which Soros founded in 1969, backed Palantir privately in early 2012 through a portfolio manager who is no longer with the company. It holds approximately 1% of Palantir’s Class A (limited voting) shares.
SFM said it has offloaded all of its Palantir shares that it is not legally or contractually obliged to hold. It added that it will continue to sell shares as permitted.
“SFM made this investment at a time when the negative social consequences of big data were less understood,” the company said in a statement, adding that “SFM would not make an investment in Palantir today.”
This isn’t the first time Soros has publicly attacked a technology company. In January 2018, he said Google and Facebook are a “menace to society” and “obstacles to innovation.”
Palantir’s market cap has more than doubled to almost $32 billion since it went public