Descartes Labs Raises $20 Million to Accelerate Our Mission and Welcomes Phil Fraher as CFO

Descartes Labs
Oct 11 · 3 min read

There’s never a dull moment over here at Descartes Labs. Between hosting the 2030 Governor’s Energy and Environmental Technology Summit with Governor Lujan Grisham, building our new methane monitoring solution for the Permian Basin, and pushing the limits of high performance computing by making the TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers with our cloud system, we’ve raised capital to accelerate our mission to build a digital twin of the planet.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce the completion of a $20 million Series B-2 bridge round of financing led by Union Grove Venture Partners (UGVP). The fresh capital brings our company’s total fundraising to almost $60 million. We are honored to be supported with additional funding by existing investors Crosslink Capital and March Capital Partners.

We also welcomed a new board observer: Patrick Cairns, who co-founded UGVP in 2014.

2020 and Beyond

This new infusion of capital will allow Descartes Labs to do some exciting things in the next year. Look for new product releases in 2020 as we continue to apply our technology to use cases around the globe. Today, we’re 110 people. We will continue to grow in the coming year.

As we grow, we continue to ask: What problems can we solve and opportunities can we unearth when we look at them from space and tap into the power of petascale data? We’re building a digital twin of planet Earth using a pipeline of data from a diverse collection of satellites, at scale, to provide instant access to analysis-ready images of the entire world via a searchable, on-demand interface. We’re continuously updating it with massive volumes of new information from historical and current satellite data, sensors, and data from our customers, to generate actionable intelligence.

Taking on the world is no small task, but we’re busy putting our Data Refinery to use in many ways, including:

  • Detecting wildfires and anticipating their spread to help deliver early warnings as easily as weather alerts.
  • Processing archived and current satellite imagery of the Middle East and North Africa to detect agricultural fields and help government agencies monitor food security.
  • Helping the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) develop its Geospatial Cloud Analytics program, with potential applications such as detecting illegal fishing and monitoring the construction of fracking sites.

And, we’re just getting started. With partners like UGVP supporting our work, we are poised for tremendous growth in the coming years as we continue to enable organizations to model — and predict changes in — natural resources and the entire value chains in which they live.

Welcome to Phil Fraher, New CFO

We’re also pleased to announce today that Phil Fraher has joined Descartes Labs as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Phil’s 30 years of experience includes serving as CFO for Zilliant, an AI-powered pricing and sales insights solution, and COO, CFO, and eventually CEO for FuelQuest, a fuel supply chain software company.

Phil was also President and CEO of Visual Numerics, Inc., COO and CFO of Brightmail, Inc., and held financial management positions at Cahners Business Information Electronic Media Division, Pilot Software, and Dun & Bradstreet. He previously served as an Executive in Residence at the Houston Technology Center and received an MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester and a BS in computer engineering from Auburn University.

Phil has guided fast-growth organizations to a series of successful exits for decades and we’re happy to welcome him to Descartes Labs at this exciting time in our company’s history. He will lead our finance, accounting, and legal departments, helping to support the company operationally as we continue to scale.


Descartes Labs is building a data refinery to better understand our planet. Contact us to learn about how we can help model your world.

Descartes Labs

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Descartes Labs is building a data refinery for geospatial data.

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