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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Palantir, the big data analytics company co-founded by Peter Thiel, is set to go public today via a direct listing. The NYSE has set a $7.25 per share reference price, although the actual opening price might be much different.

Why it matters: This is one of two direct listings today, alongside Asana, which effectively doubles the number of VC-backed tech companies that have gone public this way — following last year's direct listings by Slack and Spotify.

  • Details: At $7.25 per share, the company would have a fully diluted market value just north of $15 billion and would be priced lower than where Palantir sold primary shares to private market investors in 2016.
  • Bonus: We'll have Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale on this afternoon's episode of "Axios Re:Cap."
  • The bottom line: Palantir has multiple marks against it, including unprofitability (after 17 years) and what CNBC's Jim Cramer referred to as a "borderline obnoxious" governance structure. But it's also one of the few tech unicorns that doesn't seem to have many startups on its flank — due to both its complexity and its eagerness to service certain clients that are anathema to much of Silicon Valley.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Slack goes solo for future-of-work VC fund

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Slack is earmarking $50 million from its balance sheet to launch a new venture capital fund aimed at broadening Slack-backed investments beyond its own platform.

Why it matters: This is Slack's first solo turn at the VC game after a $25 million fund in collaboration with several of its own investors. With the pandemic confining many workers away from in-person interactions, countless companies are having to navigate a new way to operate—and new workplace apps are in the spotlight like never before.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.