Lower48 Analytics Leadership Team

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Simina Farcasiu, CEO

As the founder of Lower48 Analytics, Simina directs the firm’s vision, operations, and overall strategy. She possesses extensive experience in capital markets, investment banking, quantitative analytics, systems development, risk management, trading, structuring and fund management, and applies that expertise in driving Lower48’s platform development.

Simina has a proven history founding new firms, beginning with Silverback Asset Management, where she served as chief portfolio strategist, to her current roles as co-founder and managing partner for real asset direct investment platform Energy Finance Partners, and CFO and co-founder of jet propulsion technology company Jetoptera. At Energy Finance Partners, Simina is responsible for transaction management analytics and structuring deals.

Prior to these roles, Simina established herself on Wall Street, working with firms Merrill Lynch (Managing Director), Bear Stearns (Senior Managing Director & Senior Portfolio Manager), and Belstar Holdings & Belstar Management Company (CIO) for more than two decades. Simina holds an AB from Princeton University, where she graduated as salutatorian, summa cum laude, and a PhD from Westfield College, The University of London, where she was a Marshall Scholar.

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Gregory Pletz, Co-Founder

A co-founder of Lower48 Analytics, Greg has a background in asset management, international capital markets, and investment banking.  In addition to working independently as an adviser and investment banker focused on the Oil and Gas Industry, he has worked at Merrill Lynch International (SVP), ING Barings in both debt and equity capital markets - Latin America, and JP Morgan Chase in debt capital markets - Latin America. 

Greg is also the founder of Energy Finance Partners, a real asset direct investment platform, and is responsible for the firms vision, direction and high-level operations, focusing the majority of his time developing strategic capital and operating partner relationships, globally. He graduated from The University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts, Dual Major in Economics and Spanish.



Andrew Hicks, Director Of Sales

In his role as Lower48 Sales Director, Andrew is responsible for overseeing Lower48 Analytics’ new product launches, leading business development, and establishing a high benchmark for customer service standards. Andrew is experienced in the land, energy, and finance fields. Most recently, he served as a Team Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch, working with a team with $500 million AUM and driving business development, portfolio management, investments, and financial planning.

Andrew previously worked with Austin-based RunTitle, Inc., as head of business development, where he helped to launch the premiere marketplace and database of mineral ownership data, influenced the development of the product suite, and established customer relationships with oil & gas executives across the country. Andrews holds a BS in Communication Studies with an Energy Technology and Management minor from Texas Christian University.


Matt Freivald, Co-Founder

Matt Freivald first started developing web apps in 1995, when most people who knew about the World Wide Web at all thought of it as a document retrieval and display system, and the majority of homes did not yet have dialup access to the Internet.

He developed the first calendar reminder service for the World Wide Web, known as E-Minder. He later built Mind-It (initially known as URL-Minder), the first app for following web sites and receiving intelligent, curated email updates as new information was published. This was long before later developments like blogs and RSS feeds. Freivald co-founded NetMind Technologies Inc with Alan Noble and Mark Richards, who together built the technology behind Mind-It into two product lines: an advertising-supported Internet service with more than ten million registered users, and a web application platform focused on scalable change detection and notification ("minding" or "following") for enterprise customers such as Boeing and eBay. NetMind investors included private individuals, the startup incubator Techfarm, Techfund Capital, Chase Capital Partners, Charter Venture Capital, BancBoston Ventures, Softbank Venture Capital, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Freivald served as NetMind's CEO from its founding until he negotiated its purchase by publicly-traded Pumatech Inc in early 2000. At closing the value of the Pumatech stock used to purchase NetMind was approximately $800 million.

Since the "Dot Com" implosion of 2000 Freivald has managed a private portfolio of investments and has been involved in various advisory roles with startup companies and investment firms. He cofounded Cabanaco Inc, a company which designed a mobile device media display and screen/projector interface product for the pre-smartphone phone/PDA market. He has been a Venture Partner with Techfund Capital and Dakota Capital, has advised startups, and has assisted with fundraising for early stage companies such as Kailea, New Found Frequency, and others. He is obsessive about technology in addition to the business side of things, still sometimes codes or sets up servers for particular projects, and has enough CNC machines and 3D printers and other gear to keep a Makerspace busily humming. He knows how to help entrepreneurs navigate the paradoxes of starting a new company from scratch and understands the importance of working with really great people.

In 2017 Freivald joined Lower48 Analytics as an investor and co-founder.