making moves

Chevron supports 2 carbon emissions tech startups

Two startups have recently announced support from Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures. Photo via Getty Images

Chevron Technology Ventures has added two startups to its portfolio — one to its startup accelerator and one via an investment.

Delaware-based Compact Membrane Systems closed an oversubscribed series A funding round of $16.5 million led by Pangaea Ventures. CTV also contributed to the round, along with GC Ventures, Solvay Ventures, and Technip Energies.

CMS's technology is targeting carbon capture in traditionally hard-to-abate sectors, such as steel, cement, etc., which represent more than a tenth of worldwide emissions. The CMS platform, which operates in a 10,000-square-foot lab and manufacturing facility in Delaware, is a fully electrified and low-cost solution.

“We are delighted to have secured such a strong group of investors who share our vision for delivering a revolutionary carbon capture technology for industrial applications,” says Erica Nemser, CEO of Compact Membrane Systems, in a news release. “This oversubscribed funding round catalyzes our ability to deliver large projects. Deployment of our commercial systems by 2026 will have measurable environmental and economic benefits to our customers and society.”

It's the latest investment from CTV's $300 million Future Energy Fund II, which specifically "focuses on industrial decarbonization, emerging mobility, energy decentralization, and the growing circular economy," says Jim Gable, vice president of innovation at Chevron and president of CTV.

“The technology that CMS has developed has the potential to drive further efficiencies and cost reduction along the CCUS value chain, supporting decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors and complementing our existing portfolio of investments in this space,” Gable says in the release.

The company is planning to use its new funding to further develop and commercialize its product by 2026.

Another startup has announced support from Chevron last month. Calgary, Alberta-based Arolytics Inc. announced last month that its been accepted into CTV's Catalyst Program. The company has an emissions software and data analytics platform for the oil and gas sector, and the program will help it further develop and deploy its technology.

"Being selected for the Catalyst Program is an amazing opportunity for Arolytics," says Liz O'Connell, CEO of Arolytics, in a news release. "The interest from Chevron demonstrates the oil and gas industry's desire to reduce emissions. It aligns closely with Arolytics' mission to build and execute efficient emissions management programs that enable industry to become leaders in emissions management."

Arolytics' technology, which includes AroViz, an emissions management software, and AroFEMP, an emissions forecasting model, targets methane emissions specifically, per the release.

Launched in 2017, the CTV Catalyst Program accelerates early-stage companies that are working on innovations within the energy industry. Arolytics will use the program to make key connections, identify important use cases, and expand into the U.S. Market.

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A View From HETI

Chinese officials told Tesla that Beijing has tentatively approved the automaker's plan to launch its “Full Self-Driving,” or FSD, software feature in the country. Photo via tesla.com

Shares of Tesla stock rallied Monday after the electric vehicle maker's CEO, Elon Musk, paid a surprise visit to Beijing over the weekend and reportedly won tentative approval for its driving software.

Musk met with a senior government official in the Chinese capital Sunday, just as the nation’s carmakers are showing off their latest electric vehicle models at the Beijing auto show.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter, Chinese officials told Tesla that Beijing has tentatively approved the automaker's plan to launch its “Full Self-Driving,” or FSD, software feature in the country.

Although it's called FSD, the software still requires human supervision. On Friday the U.S. government’s auto safety agency said it is investigating whether last year’s recall of Tesla’s Autopilot driving system did enough to make sure drivers pay attention to the road. Tesla has reported 20 more crashes involving Autopilot since the recall, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In afternoon trading, shares in Tesla Inc., which is based in Austin, Texas, surged to end Monday up more than 15% — its biggest one-day jump since February 2020. For the year to date, shares are still down 22%.

Tesla has been contending with its stock slide and slowing production. Last week, the company said its first-quarter net income plunged by more than half, but it touted a newer, cheaper car and a fully autonomous robotaxi as catalysts for future growth.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the news about the Chinese approval a “home run” for Tesla and maintained his “Outperform” rating on the stock.

“We note Tesla has stored all data collected by its Chinese fleet in Shanghai since 2021 as required by regulators in Beijing,” Ives wrote in a note to investors. “If Musk is able to obtain approval from Beijing to transfer data collected in China abroad this would be pivotal around the acceleration of training its algorithms for its autonomous technology globally.”

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