Money makers

Chevron Technology Ventures launches $90 million fund

Chevron Technology Ventures' new fund will seek out "high-tech, high-growth startups." Getty Images

Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures announced today that it's launched a new $90 million fund to focus scalable tech companies that could improve and advance Chevron's oil and gas business.

Fund VII, according to a release from CTV, will target early- to mid-stage companies and limited partnership funds.

"CTV serves as an excellent source within Chevron for new business models and novel technologies that can deliver value to the enterprise through their integration," says CTV president, Barbara Burger, in the release. "We are using venture capital as a conduit for early access to innovation and to build a pipeline of innovation for Chevron."

Chevron's last fund was a $100 million fund in June of 2018 called the Future Energy Fund, according to a release. The goals of that fund were to find solutions regarding lower carbon emissions and cleaner energy, the release states.

Chevron's venture arm has made 90 investments over its 20 years of existence and has fostered innovation inside the corporation and within the energy landscape as a whole. The firm boasts of being the longest-running continuously operating oil and gas corporate venture capital group.

According to its website, CTV's portfolio includes projects in both of its upstream and downstream businesses — including startups focusing on communications, information technologies, alternative energy, and more.

In January, CTV entered into a partnership with The Cannon to further develop the entities commitment to Houston innovation and startups.


Barbara Burger is the president of Chevron Technology Ventures.Courtesy of Chevron

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Building Houston

 
 

Cemvita reported a successful pilot program on its gold hydrogen project in the Permian Basin. Photo courtesy of Cemvita

Houston-based cleantech startup Cemvita Factory is kicking things into high gear with its Gold Hydrogen product.

After successfully completing a pilot test of Gold Hydrogen in the oil-rich Permian Basin of West Texas, Cemvita has raised an undisclosed amount of funding through its new Gold H2 LLC spin-out. The lead investors are Georgia-based equipment manufacturer Chart Industries and 8090 Industries, an investment consortium with offices in New York City and Los Angeles.

Gold Hydrogen provides carbon-neutral hydrogen obtained from depleted oil and gas wells. This is achieved through bioengineering subsurface microbes in the wells to consume carbon and generate clean hydrogen.

Cemvita says it set up Gold H2 to commercialize the business via licensing, joint ventures, and outright ownership of hydrogen assets.

“We have incredible conviction in next-generation clean hydrogen production methods that leverage the vast and sprawling existing infrastructure and know-how of the oil and gas industry,” Rayyan Islam, co-founder and general partner of 8090 Industries, says in a news release.

Traditional methods of producing hydrogen without greenhouse gas emissions include electrolysis powered by renewable sources like wind, solar or water, according to Cemvita. However, production of green hydrogen through normal avenues eats up a lot of energy and money, the startup says.

By contrast, Cemvita relies on depleted oil and gas wells to cheaply produce carbon-free hydrogen.

“The commercialization and economics of the hydrogen economy will require technologies that produce the hydrogen molecule at a meaningful scale with no carbon emissions. Gold H2 is leading the charge … ,” says Jill Evanko, president and CEO of Chart Industries.

Investors in Cemvita include Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, an investment arm of Houston-based Occidental Petroleum, as well as BHP Group, Mitsubishi, and United Airlines Ventures.

Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and United Airlines Ventures are financing Cemvita’s work on sustainable jet fuel. United Airlines operates a hub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston.

Founded by brother-and-sister team Moji and Tara Karimi in 2017, Cemvita uses synthetic biology to turn carbon dioxide into chemicals and alternative fuels.

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