Palantir Technologies Inc. is expected to be valued at nearly $22 billion in its Wall Street debut as the data-mining firm faces fresh backlash over its role in helping facilitate deportations in the U.S.
Citing sources, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that bankers for Palantir, which was co-founded by Trump ally Peter Thiel, have told investors that shares could start trading at around $10 each as the firm makes the transition to a public company.
The high estimate comes just days ahead of Palantir’s expected September 30 market debut, with the tech company forgoing the traditional IPO route and opting to go public through a direct listing instead.
Already, news that Palantir is set to go public has prompted backlash, with activist group Mijente Support Committee (MSC), which describes itself as an “organizing hub fighting for Latinx and Chicanx rights”, calling on the company to stop working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
“Palantir is going public, meaning they will be able to make money on Wall Street while working [with] ICE,” MSC wrote in a tweet.
The activist group then called on its followers to join them on Monday in “tweeting at Palantir to demand they cancel their ICE contract.”
For days now, the group has been holding protests demanding that the data-mining firm ends its deal with ICE, which plays a key role in helping the agency over deportations.
In one video posted to Twitter by MSC, a demonstrator can be seen bashing a piñata emblazoned with Palantir’s brand name in front of a cheering crowd during a demonstration outside the company’s new headquarters in Denver earlier this week.
Outrage over Palantir’s role in helping the U.S. government carry out its deportations has grown in recent days as ICE faces intense scrutiny following allegations from a whistleblower that hysterectomies were being performed on detained immigrants without proper consent.
Recently, it also came to light that Palantir would be expanding its reach to the U.K., with The Guardian reporting that the British government had awarded oversight of the country’s post-Brexit border and customs data to the tech firm.
That contract was formally awarded earlier this month.
A spokesperson for Palantir said the company was unable to provide comment during the quiet period.