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Exclusive: Momentick raises $6.5M for satellite methane monitoring

an illustration of a methane molecule being enlarged by a magnifying glass

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Emissions detection service Momentick closed a $6.5 million seed round to expand the range of greenhouse gasses that it tracks, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: Leaks from fossil fuel infrastructure are responsible for 40% of human-caused methane emissions.

The big picture: Tel Aviv-based Momentick is among a handful of startups using satellites to detect plumes of invisible gas leaking from fossil fuel infrastructure.

How it works: Unlike the Environmental Defense Fund's MethaneSat or the publicly traded earth imaging service Planet Labs, both of which launched their own satellites, Momentick is purely a software company, using an algorithm it developed to interpret images taken by others' satellites.

  • The approach enables Momentick to be cost-efficient and cover a broader swath of territory, CEO Daniel Kashmir says.
  • The company says it can detect leaks below 1,000 kilograms/hour, which is about standard for a satellite.

Driving the news: Venture capital firms Chartered Group Japan and Tel Aviv-based Tau Ventures led Momentick's all-equity round, which closed at the end of 2023.

  • Tau joined Momentick's four-member board alongside the startup's founders.

Context: The raise comes as fossil fuel companies face new U.S. regulations that will penalize them for methane leaks.

  • That's spurred not only oil and gas companies to invest in leak-detection services but also their financial backers and insurance providers.
  • "Because of the regulations, we're seeing more and more demand on the financial side," Kashmir says.

What's next: Momentick is tweaking its algorithm to also detect carbon dioxide and nitrogen emissions.

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