Bratislava - GA Drilling signed a EUR 4.2 million funding agreement with Lead Ventures and a service agreement with MOL Group.
Lead Ventures, a Budapest based venture capital firm invested funds provided by MOL Group, and Hungarian Eximbank. The deal gives GA Drilling access to onshore production wells to test its disruptive PLASMABIT plug & abandonment technology in real field conditions. The agreement is a major step in enabling the commercialization of the PLASMABIT technology, which can bring positive environmental impacts, and significant cost and time reductions when compared to conventional methods of decommissioning of unused oil wells.
GA Drilling is a world pioneer in developing innovative technology for contactless drilling and P&A milling using its proprietary electric plasma disintegration process. The technology opens opportunities within multiple sectors with the initial focus being the environmental plug and abandonment of old wells, slot recovery and other decommissioning services. In parallel, the company continues to develop further applications for hard rock drilling enabling access to deep geothermal energy, as well as tunneling and mining of raw minerals.
The aim of partnership with Lead Ventures and MOL is to enable GA Drilling to successfully deliver its first commercial application for oil & gas industry, testing PLASMABIT in real field conditions onshore. In the meantime, GA Drilling continues to seek strategic partnerships with other oil majors for offshore platform and subsea wells for testing PLASMABIT worldwide.
'The novel solution developed by GA Drilling has the potential to positively disrupt a very traditional segment of the energy markets. In our view this is one of the most promising energy innovations in the Central European region. Lead Ventures is committed to support those innovative companies which require substantial funding to further their development and has the potential to be the next success story in Central Eastern Europe.' - said Abel Galacz, CEO of Lead Ventures.
'GA Drilling now has the ability to commercialize its technology with a major oil company in an operational environment as an integrated services company. We can now optimize our PLASMABIT P&A process and prove the commercial effectiveness of the application for the global market. Having MOL Group and Lead Ventures as strategic partners demonstrate the transition, we are making from a technology company to an international service focused business. It validates our combined efforts, our belief in PLASMABIT as a significant game changer with considerable upside in various applications for the industry. We appreciate continuous support and trust of our equity investors, R&D backing from EU public grants, loan from Slovak government to refinance the long-term infrastructure and extending of industrial cooperation, jointly bringing us to today's success.' - said Igor KoiS, co-founder and CEO of GA Drilling.
In currently opened Series 'B' round of financing, GA Drilling has contracted more than 85% of round's investment volume. The earlier investors of Series 'B' round - Berlin Technologie Holding, Slovak Investment Holding and American investor Ted Halstead have been followed by MOL Group, European oil major. MOL signed the Service Agreement, enabling GA Drilling to gain the access to onshore production wells. The direct investment from MOL Group is executed through their investment body Lead Ventures founded in 2018. Remaining part of the last ticket left in the Series 'B' continues to be in negotiations.
About Lead Ventures
Lead Ventures is Central and Eastern Europe's industry specialized venture capital and private equity firm. Its mission is to identify and support the most promising ventures in the CEE region, encouraging entrepreneurs to disrupt established industries with innovation. Lead Ventures has EUR 100 m under management invested by MOL, the region's most successful energy company, and two financial institutions specialized in supporting the start-up ecosystem - the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) and Eximbank. The firm looks for dynamic teams active in the fields of advanced energy, mobility, business to business services and software with unique stories validated by the market, having outstanding growth potential and global reach. Lead Ventures provides investments of EUR 2-10m, targeting series A-B financing rounds. Beyond investment, Lead Ventures dedicates their expertise and professional network to facilitate growth of their portfolio companies.
About GA Drilling
GA Drilling is a hi-tech company founded in 2008, developing a revolutionary electric plasma technology called PLASMABIT focusing of changing the global energy mix. PLASMABIT technology is able to drill faster, deeper and cheaper than conventional methods, therefore, will provide access and make geothermal energy more economical globally in more than 70% of the most populated earth's areas. PLASMABIT has a potential to radically change other industry segments too such as plug and abandonment of the old wells in oil & gas industry, tunneling, mining exploration, mining minerals and others. One of the strategic partners of GAD is Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment, the Austrian technology leader of the extractive industry. In 2018 GA Drilling successfully passed a final evaluation of international project competition, aspiring for support from InnoEnergy, an association of industry companies, focused on energy innovations support.
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