Startup businesses hoping to expand their reach and attract investors often send out announcements when they sign a new contract or consumer.

That has not been the case for Descartes Labs, a privately held startup that uses computer learning to translate satellite imaging of the Earth into readable formats. Last year, the company used its sensing and scientific muscle to unveil the first-ever crop map of the entire planet by patching trillions of the daily images from satellites circling the Earth.

That resulted in the first contracts for Descartes, with a group that trades in agricultural commodities as well an insurance company seeking to ferret information from hard-to-reach places. “We’ve created an immense amount of value for our customers,” said Mark Johnson, the chief executive at Descartes, who said the customer identities are confidential.

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