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The Next Phase of Descartes Labs

By Phil Fraher and Mark Johnson

Five years ago, a group of brilliant scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory founded Descartes Labs with the bold vision to transform massive global datasets into useful information so that we can be better stewards of our planet’s natural resources.

Early on, many told us that we could never build a company in New Mexico. And we fully believed that we would follow the path of many tech startups and move out to the Bay Area. Boy, were we wrong.

Our only non-Los Alamos National Lab cofounder, Mark Johnson, brought critical early-stage experience in translating deep technology into a product. At his last startup, Zite, he took technology that spun out of the University of British Columbia and transformed it into a popular news app, which he successfully sold to CNN.

Under his leadership, the company has raised $60M in funding, doubled revenue in 2019, grown to over 100 people and established permanent headquarters in downtown Santa Fe, all while doing impactful work in areas from energy management to methane detection and wildfire prevention.

As a company matures, leadership needs to evolve. To continue our successful path, we asked our CFO, Phil Fraher, to take the helm as CEO of Descartes Labs. Phil is no stranger to taking an early-stage company to the next level. He’s been in enterprise technology for 30 years, been CEO four times, and has mentored many startups. His experience is absolutely critical to help Descartes Labs capture the tremendous market opportunity ahead.

Phil and Mark have partnered during the past year to set strategy for the company and have an ambitious plan for 2020. During this next phase, Mark will continue to support our vision in his new role as Executive Chair and will remain a strong voice on our Board of Directors. Phil will use his vast experience in growing companies by helping us achieve critical operational and revenue growth. All of us at Descartes Labs will continue to commit to helping business and government utilize our solutions, services and platform to improve their operations and in doing so, make our planet a better place to live.

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Descartes Labs is building a data refinery for geospatial data.

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