QLM Technology Ltd, a Cardiff-based photonics technology company with operations in Bristol and San Francisco, has announced the closing of its Series-A funding and the signing of a Collaboration Agreement with Schlumberger.
With support from Innovate UK, QLM has developed a new type of LiDAR (laser imaging, detection, and ranging) camera based on quantum technology that can see and accurately quantify greenhouse gas emissions. The gas imager enables customers to monitor, detect and accurately locate and quantify Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission sources for rapid repair. A related version of the product enables remote quantification of flare efficiency.
“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.
Through the strategic collaboration, QLM’s technology will be part of the new Schlumberger End-to-end Emissions Solutions (SEES) business offering for the oil and gas industry. SEES’s methane monitoring offering is based on previous investments in satellite-, airplane-, and drone-mounted sensors, along with additional sensors developed internally. QLM’s differentiated LiDAR technology complements those mobile monitors by providing accurate and sensitive measurements where continuous monitoring is required. The ability to quantify flare efficiency will ensure optimal efficiency for flares that cannot yet be eliminated.
Beyond emissions monitoring for the oil and gas market, the QLM solution is well-suited for use in other GHG-intensive applications such as in biomethane production, at landfills and in agricultural and wastewater operations.
“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.”
Oliver Wheatley of the Development Bank of Wales said: “This significant funding round has attracted the support of sector specialist investors who will now work closely with QLM to scale up their unique emissions monitoring solution. This is our second investment into QLM after the initial seed round in 2021 saw them establish their office in Cardiff. 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. 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.”
Beyond emissions monitoring for the oil and gas market, the QLM solution is well-suited for use in tracking and reducing methane emissions in other applications such as in biogas production, at landfills, at waterwaste treatment plants, and in coal mines.
In addition to lead investment from Schlumberger, existing investors Green Angel Syndicate, Enterprise100 Syndicate, Development Bank of Wales, Newable, and several private investors joined in this round of funding, as well as new investor Quantum Exponential.