Saudi Aramco boosts global VC funding to USD7.5B
Photo courtesy of Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco boosts global VC funding to USD7.5B

Energy giant Saudi Arabian Oil Company, commonly known as Saudi Aramco, has allocated an additional USD4 billion into its venture capital investment arm, lifting Aramco Ventures’ total financing pool to USD7 billion through 2028.

Aramco Ventures operates across three core funds—digital/industrial technologies strategically impacting operations, broader disruptive technologies beyond energy, and sustainability-aligned ventures assisting Aramco’s net zero by 2050 ambitions. The extra capital injection includes contributions filling out all three pools.

The firm also runs a USD500 million Wa’ed Ventures fund concentrated specifically around domestic Saudi Arabian startups as the kingdom seeks to nurture an indigenous innovation ecosystem and startup scene. Aramco has targeted expanding economic activity beyond oil and gas to uphold resilience amid global energy transitions.

Parent company Aramco framed the considerable commitment injection, nearly doubling prior funding, as supporting business diversification and next-generation technology adoption objectives. Focus areas span decarbonisation innovation, emerging fuels, chemicals and materials, plus digital transformation.

In a statement, Ahmad Al Khowaiter, Aramco executive vice president of technology, positioned external startups and growth firms partnering through Aramco Ventures as crucial progressing solutions needed to address pressing global energy challenges. The financing assists maturing ideas into commercial viability and widespread implementation.

Recent investments span carbon accounting software developer Persefoni, Chinese battery recycler Battery Resourcers, offshore robotics firm RoboTech Vision and others. Several core emerging areas like carbon capture or hydrogen Aramco itself researches, but expects synergies from insights gained through external entities.

The state-owned giant produces one in every eight global oil barrels but faces pressures demonstrating climate seriousness as criticism around fossil fuel environmental impacts mounts. Green groups remain skeptical around the weight placed on still speculative and unproven negative emissions solutions rather than outright reductions from its enormous asset base.