Saudi Aramco allocates $4bn to venture capital arm

The company's total venture capital allocation is now $7.5 billion

An Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia. Reuters
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Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil-producing company, has allocated an additional $4 billion to its global venture capital arm Aramco Ventures, more than doubling the capital allotted to Aramco Ventures to $7 billion.

The move will also bring Aramco’s total venture capital allocation to $7.5 billion, which includes the $500 million venture capital fund Wa’ed Ventures that focuses on the kingdom’s start-up ecosystem, Aramco said in a statement on Wednesday.

“By injecting an additional $4 billion in funding over the next four years, we intend to provide the financial backing required to take game-changing solutions to the next level,” said Ahmad Al Khowaiter, Aramco's executive vice president of technology and innovation.

“This will provide crucial impetus to businesses at various stages of development around the world, while also contributing to Aramco’s own long-term objectives.”

Aramco Ventures currently manages three funds.

The Digital/Industrial Fund, valued at $500 million, is dedicated to investing in technologies considered strategically important to Aramco.

With a fund size of $1 billion, the Prosperity7 Fund is aimed at investing in disruptive technology ventures beyond the energy sector.

Meanwhile, the $1.5 billion Sustainability Fund focuses on investing in start-ups that can support Aramco's goal of achieving net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across its wholly owned and operated assets by 2050.

Fifty oil and gas companies, including Aramco and UAE’s Adnoc, signed up to the Oil and Gas Decarbonisation Charter at Cop28, which calls for net zero emissions by 2050 or before.

They are also planning to achieve “near-zero” upstream methane emissions and zero routine flaring by the end of the decade.

Boosting funds allocated to venture capital activity is expected to advance Aramco’s long-term strategy, which includes a growing focus on sectors such as chemicals, transition materials and digital technologies, the company said.

Last month, Aramco agreed to acquire a 40 per cent equity stake in Gas & Oil Pakistan, a downstream fuels, lubricants and convenience store operator.

The agreement marked Aramco’s entry into Pakistan’s fuel retail market, "advancing the company’s strategy to strengthen its downstream value chain internationally", it said at the time.

Updated: January 17, 2024, 8:42 AM