Esri: The Google of The Inland Empire

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Nov 27, 2021



Esri, an acronym of ‘Environmental Systems Research Institute‘ is a mapping software company that makes desktop and cloud-based geographic information system (GIS) and geodatabase management applications.

It was founded 52 years ago in 1969. The company is headquartered in Redlands, California, some 60 miles east of Los Angeles. To date, it is a privately held company, wholly owned by Jack and Laura Dangermond.

Just like Google’s ‘Googleplex’ campus in Mountain View CA, Esri maintains a multi-acre campus in Redlands, CA that is covered in plantation and trees with access to walking paths, turtle ponds, a library housing hundreds of books, a 24/7 gym, and a Starbucks bar.

Twitter @Esri

Why Esri?

Esri’s story intrigued us for several reasons. It’s one of the most responsibly run private software businesses out there in the Inland Empire, and probably throughout the country.

We had $1,100 total when we incorporated Esri. Today, about 350,000 organizations use our tools. We have 9,000 employees worldwide and $912 million in revenue. In our 43 years, we have never missed a quarter. We’ve never had any layoffs; we’ve never had any downsizing. It’s just been very conservative, systematic growth”.

Jack Dangermond, co-founder of Esri | Inc. Magazine

Esri – Profile Outline

  1. Zero Debt – Esri in Numbers
  2. Products and Customer Segments
  3. Frequently Asked Questions about Esri
  4. Business Network
  5. A History of Innovation
  6. Further Readings about Esri
  7. Recruiting Events

1. Zero Debt – Esri in Numbers

According to the company’s fact sheet, Esri maintains a zero-debt position and continues to pursue sustainable organic growth instead of chasing VC money. With 9000 employees in 73 countries, it’s GIS software is used by 350,000+ organizations, 50% of which are Fortune 500 companies, most national governments, cities, states, and 7,000+ universities.

Every year, the company holds its international Esri User Conference (UC) at the San Diego Convention Center, making it one of the pioneers in holding annual user conferences. Esri invests 30% of its revenues in Research and Development, compared to Microsoft and Google, investing roughly 13% of their revenues in R&D.

Esri invests 30% of its revenues in Research and Development

Esri Fact Sheet
PC: Esri

2. Products & Customer Segments

Esri’s core product is ArcGIS, a family of client software, server software, and online GIS services developed and maintained by Esri. End users and enterprises can make interactive maps using ArcGIS. The product delivers:

  • Spatial analysis
  • Mapping and visualization
  • 3D and Real-time GIS
  • Imagery & remote sensing

Esri serves a wide range of industries, from cities, counties and police departments, to the U.S. Geological Service and the National Park Service, and business verticals like financial services, insurance, logistics and distribution, manufacturing, real estate, and retail. Visit this link to see the comprehensive list of industries Esri serves.

3. Frequently Asked Questions About Esri

Is Esri a big company?

Yes, with 9000+ employees across 43 offices worldwide, Esri is one of the largest privately held software companies in the world.

Where is Esri headquarters?

West Redlands, California, United States

Who owns Esri?

Jack and Laura Dangermond founded Esri in 1969 and are the founder-owners of Esri

Does Esri pay well?

The average estimated annual salary, including base and bonus, at Esri is $102,457, or $49 per hour, while the estimated median salary is $87,565, or $42 per hour” (Comparably).

4. Business Network

It works with 100s of partners across 67+ countries that expand Esri’s reach into markets far and beyond.

5. A History of Innovation

Esri has sustained five fundamental shifts in technology, from computer workstations, PCs, servers, the Web to mobile devices, you may not find many companies evolving successfully. Esri not only maintains its leading position in the worldwide GIS market but still operates as a private company.

The company maintains a comprehensive suite of training programs and courses, both developed in-house and by community users.

The enterprise mapping software company boasts an impressive portfolio of clients like:

  • Chevron
  • Chubb Insurance
  • Conrail
  • Ernst & Young
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Korea Telecom
  • Levi Strauss and Company
  • Lockheed-Martin
  • McDonald’s
  • NASA

6. Further Readings About Esri

7. Recruiting Events

Esri regularly holds virtual and in-person recruiting events. Below is the link to the company’s recruitment events page that displays the key information with dates.

No matter how big or innovative a company, it is ultimately the founder’s vision that drives a company’s trajectory of sustainability and growth. Apart from that, being in the market at the right time determines success too.

A Ted talk by Esri’s Co-founder Jack Dangermond.

TED Talk

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  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.


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