Andium, a company focused on remote field monitoring of assets including oil and gas wells has just raised some not-insignificant cash in an investment round led by OGCI Climate Investments, a firm formed by the largest oil companies in the world.
Launched in 2014 to “support” the targets laid out in the Paris Agreement to limit global greenhouse gas emissions, OGCI has invested in 21 projects to date.
With Andium, the oil majors join existing investors including Tom Miglis, the former chief investment officer of Citadel Securities and Talis Capital, in backing a company developing technologies for natural gas flare monitoring, tank telemetry and object detection.
The company said it provides oil and gas companies with real-time information from remote locations at a far lower cost than other solutions.
Few technologies are less exciting than sensors and monitoring equipment, but there are also few tech services that are more vital to staunching the flow of greenhouse gas emissions. As Mark Tomasovic, a partner at the renewable investment firm, Energize tweeted (to me), “A few companies are involved in monitoring and reducing methane emissions from producing oil and gas wells… Given that there are over [1 million] wells in the U.S. and methane is 28x more potent than CO2, these startups have had more of an impact on global climate change then Tesla.”
“We believe that visibility is paramount in change leadership and operational excellence, and our remote monitoring technologies are specifically designed to offer companies an expedited path to achieve their sustainability goals,” said Jory Schwach, the chief executive of Andium, in a statement.
Schwach, a serial entrepreneur whose previous forays into the business world included GlobalRim, a solar global positioning system company, and an offline communications service, started out developing a battery-powered tracking system for the logistics industry.
“I spent the better part of two years building a battery-powered tracking solution for long haul trailers so the market could replace brokers with ‘shared assets’. I failed fast and often on the hardware and realized that the real value was in the continually changing product requests that would be much more easily solved with a software change,” Schwach told the Medium publication Authority Magazine. “I decided that building a new kind of operating system for small devices could be big business if I leveraged the OS to customize products based on changing use cases while managing the hardware and infrastructure on behalf of the client.”
Andium’s technology uses off the shelf cameras and microphones with an artificial intelligence overlay to provide real-time monitoring of all sorts of industrial assets.
“The transparency created by monitoring and measuring methane is essential to reducing emissions,” said Pratima Rangarajan, CEO of OGCI Climate Investments. “Andium’s low-cost innovative solution lowers the barrier for operators of all sizes to adopt and implement best practices and we are pleased to support their growth.”