MOUNTAIN VIEW — Kairos Aerospace, a company that finds oilfield methane leaks and emissions, has closed a $26 million Series C-1 funding round, led by DCVC. Returning investors OGCI Climate Investments, John Crane, a Smith Group company, and Energy Innovation Capital (EIC) also participated.
Using cutting-edge methane detection algorithms and proprietary sensor hardware, Kairos’ industry leading capabilities to conduct basin-wide aerial surveys identify material methane leaks of all sizes, which it pinpoints on the map with its patented fusion of infrared data, GPS and aerial photography. Kairos then provides discreet and actionable insights to its clients in the oil and gas industry so they can quickly fix the leaks.
In tandem with other operational and sustainability efforts, Kairos’ data has enabled its clients to successfully eliminate 14.4 billion cubic feet of methane emissions, equivalent to removing 1.6 million vehicles from the road or reducing 7.3 million tons of CO2 emissions.
Kairos plans to use the funds to expand globally, expand its workforce and instrument fleet to support its rapidly growing operations and sales, and develop the next generation of instruments that will increase sensitivity and improve the utility of Kairos data for its customers.
“We are pleased with the positive impact we have had on the oil and gas industry’s emissions management strategies and outcomes thus far and look forward to further growth,” said Steve Deiker, co-founder and CEO. “We’re addressing a critical issue in the industry, and this investment allows us to continue our period of rapid growth, scaling in geography, capacity and utility for our clients.”
Methane emissions are highly skewed towards large but relatively infrequent sources that produce the lion’s share of total emissions. Large, infrequent leaks are difficult to track without surveying an entire oil basin. Kairos’ technology creates the opportunity to rapidly reduce methane emissions by enabling its customers to identify and prioritize mitigating the largest leaks.
“We cannot meet global climate goals without reducing methane emissions across our trillions of dollars’ worth of existing energy infrastructure,” said Zachary Bogue, DCVC managing partner. “Kairos provides an immediate pathway for the industry to materially reduce methane emissions and begin to meet Net Zero by 2050 targets. More progress today means more time to develop the sustainable energy infrastructure of tomorrow.”
This is a pivotal moment for Kairos’ aerial methane monitoring service because of the changing expectations on the oil and gas industry from regulators, investors, and the public. Kairos is well positioned to help industry address the increasing levels of methane regulation in the U.S. and globally, as well as the heightened scrutiny on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, and the focus on “clean” gas and total emissions across the supply chains of the Global 2000 companies.
In 2020, Kairos flew over 288,000 miles in two countries across eight oilfield basins, surveying 12,000 square miles of oilfields, including 96,000 active wells and 48,000 miles of pipelines. While this is a material and growing dataset, it represents only a first step in establishing a global dataset that can reduce emissions and improve the efficiency of the energy supply chain.