A tech startup that helps companies become net zero by mitigating greenhouse emissions has secured £12m in Series A investment.

Cardiff-based QLM Technology is a photonics technology company with operations in Bristol and San Francisco.

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.

Murray Reed, CEO of QLM, said: “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.

“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.”

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.

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Kahina Abdeli-Galinier, emissions business director at Schlumberger, said: “SEES selects partners following rigorous technical evaluation to identify innovative technology that complements our existing measurement solutions.

“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.

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“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.”

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.

QLM Technology started as an idea in the head of the firm’s chief technical officer, Xiao Ai, as he carried out postgraduate research into single photon Lidar gas detection at the University of Bristol.