3 geospatial companies have made it to CNBC’s annual Upstart 100 list. New Mexico-headquartered Descartes Labs, which processes satellite imagery, Swedish firm Mapillary which does digital street level mapping, and New Jersey-based Relola which provides location-based services to enterprises, feature in the list
The list includes an array of companies with diverse portfolios that are exceeding market expectations, adding value and dynamism with their innovative products and services, and have the potential to become big brands in the near future.
Though blue-chip companies receive inordinate focus due to their market capitalization and conspicuous visibility, these days there is an increasing focus on new start-ups as they vie for investments from venture capitalists. As per Pitchbook, start-ups bagged whopping $11.5 billion in investment in the second quarter of 2018
Overall, the companies are from 9 countries and 13 US. States and 19 are led by women. All companies on the list are less than 5 years old.
Descartes Labs processes and refines data for satellite imagery. It currently processes images from the major NASA and ESA satellite constellations at scale, creating a digital data twin of the entire planet that monitors the whole earth, in near real-time. Founded in 2014, the company is headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has offices in New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Established in 2013 in Sweden, Mapillary is a service for sharing crowdsourced geotagged photos. It provides Computer-vision technology for street-level digital mapping. It also an open source subset crowdsourced image dataset, the Mapillary Vistas Dataset of 25,000 street-level images, with pixel-wise annotation, to help train autonomous vehicle AI system algorithms.
Relola provides Location-based social media services real estate, political and nonprofit sector. Founded in 2015, it enables enterprises to own and broadcast content generated by their networks. Relola has created 50,000 maps till date which can be downloaded on the Relola app. Recently, it joined Oracle’s scaleup program and got access to Oracle’s 430,000 enterprise customers.
The inclusion of 3 companies from the geospatial sector is noteworthy and expresses the fact geospatial is among the few sectors that will play a massive role in the future and would be among the most valued sectors in the economy.
The list also includes Israel-based drone delivery startup Flytrex, which is building the world’s first drone-based delivery service – cutting delivery costs and times by an order of magnitude in an (almost) infinite market. In August 2017 Flytrex launched the world’s first fully operational, regulatory approved, on-demand drone delivery service in Reykjavik, Iceland.
CNBC selected the companies from a list of 500 companies that submitted information about them, their founders, and investors. One of the main criteria for being listed was the company should be privately owned and not more than 5 years old.
The companies were then ranked based on 8 parameters: scalability, sales growth, customer growth, workforce diversity, capital access, intellectual property and industry size. Pitchbook assisted CNBC in the confirmation of company eligibility criteria.