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Photo: Faris Hadziq/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

A recently formed venture capital firm backed by Malaysian oil-and-gas giant Petronas is going into launch mode.

Driving the news: The San Francisco-based Piva today announced a $250 million fund to invest in "breakthrough technologies needed to usher in a new era of energy and industry."

Why it matters: It's the latest sign of how some of the world's largest oil companies are putting more resources into startups.

  • The industry's VC cash is going to companies with tech that aids development of traditional fossil sources, but also areas like storage, efficiency and renewables.

How it works: Petronas is Piva's sole limited partner. But Piva says it will operate independently from the company, which also has a separate corporate VC fund.

  • They argue this structure provides the agility and speed to make decisions on their own, but keeps the ability to leverage the mothership's resources and expertise.
  • Piva plans to invest in early to growth-stage companies in areas like AI and robotics, electric and digital mobility, and advanced chemical and materials technology.

Piva CEO Ricardo Angel, in an interview, said they'll focus on emerging energy sources but also technology that makes developing fossil fuels more efficient and "greener and safer."

Background: Angel was previously the managing director at GE Ventures and before that a principal at Chevron Technology Ventures.

  • Others execs include partner Adzmel Adznan, who was a top official at Petronas' separate corporate VC arm; and Bennett Cohen, who's worked for Shell's venture arm and consulted for the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute.

What's next: Angel says Piva could unveil its first deal within days. Overall, the firm plans to invest in 15–20 companies over the life of the fund.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.