QLM Technology, a Cardiff-based photonics startup, has raised £12M in finance for their LiDAR camera, which identifies and monitors greenhouse gas emissions, with investment from the Development Bank of Wales.
Schlumberger End-to-end Emissions Solutions, a company that provides a suite of services to the oil and gas industry to quantify and manage methane flares, led the Series A fundraising.
Existing investors Green Angel Syndicate, Enterprise100 Syndicate, and Newable contributed to the funding round.
Following a seed investment in 2021, the Development Bank of Wales, which was established by the Welsh government in 2017 to invest in businesses, made its second investment in QLM.
Quantum Exponential, an early-stage investor, made its first investment in QLM.
The startup, which has received funding from Innovate UK, has created a LiDAR camera that employs quantum technology to scan gas plume shapes in order to detect gas leak locations.
The oil and gas industry, where its technology can be utilized to identify and monitor methane emissions, is an important market for QLM.
As part of the agreement, QLM has formed a strategic collaboration with Schlumberger, through which its LiDAR technology will be made available to oil and gas firms alongside other monitoring technologies like drones and sensors.
QLM is a UK-based photonics technology and analytics firm founded in 2017 by Yuri Andersson and Xiao Ai with backing from Bristol University’s Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre, with headquarters in Cardiff and operations in Bristol and San Francisco.
“The technology is unique in the emissions monitoring marketplace in its potential to achieve the greatest amount of GHG abatement at the lowest cost of ownership,” said Murray Reed, Chief Executive officer, QLM. “The funding and strategic relationship with our new lead investor, Schlumberger, and expanded backing of initial and new investors will allow us to scale our manufacturing, enabling significant cost reduction, as we launch our solution into the various GHG-intensive industries and markets.”
“SEES selects partners following rigorous technical evaluation to identify innovative technology that complements our existing measurement solutions,” said Kahina Abdeli-Galinier, Emissions Business Director, Schlumberger. “The unique QLM LiDAR technology will allow operators to continuously monitor their facilities for methane emissions, and the technology is differentiated in its ability to detect even small emissions; to quantify emission rates accurately; to provide actionable information by locating the emission source precisely; and to fit upstream, midstream, and downstream facilities of all sizes.”
Other greenhouse gas-intensive businesses targeted by QLM include landfills and agricultural wastewater facilities.The National Grid has tested QLM’s technology, and the company is actively collaborating with BP.
“What’s really exciting is that this subsequent investment will enable QLM to grow rapidly from their base here in Wales, where they’ll continue to take advantage of the region’s compound semiconductor cluster,” said Oliver Wheatley of the Development Bank of Wales.
“Alongside the oil and gas sector, QLM’s technology which can revolutionise the greenhouse gas monitoring and detection industry, will be deployed across several adjacent markets, helping to safeguard our planet for future generations.”
The company competes with the likes of Silixa, Detect Technologies, Rocsole, AOMS Technologies, MineSense & others.