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Montana-based invests $55M in home-grown high-tech methane detection company, Bridger Photonics

Bridger Photonics, (Bridger) announced that Montana-based syndicate, Beaverhead Partners, has invested $55 million in the company to support its rapid growth. The syndicate is composed of Bozeman-based Madison Valley Partners, sustainability and climate action focused Carica Sustainable Investments, and Bozeman-based Next Frontier Capital. Each of the investors has strong ties to Montana and each is building core holdings in climate-centered technology companies. This minority-share investment in Bridger represents the largest investment of its type for each of the investors.

Bridger developed Gas Mapping LiDAR™, a methane detection technology that has transformed the way the oil and gas industry detects and manages emissions. Bridger mounts its laser sensors on small aircraft, scans oil and gas infrastructure, and provides gas plume images, GPS coordinates, and accurate quantification of methane leaks across the entire natural gas value chain. This information is used by energy companies to efficiently reduce their methane emissions. While Bridger’s team and manufacturing are based in Bozeman, it scans for emissions throughout all major oil and gas production basins in North America. Bridger also scans natural gas transmission pipelines and distribution service networks for utility companies. Major clients include ExxonMobil, Southern California Gas Company, Diversified Energy, Devon Energy, Cenovus Energy, Chesapeake Energy, and many others who rely on the company to detect methane emissions so they can lower greenhouse gas emissions and meet sustainability goals. 

Bridger’s strong growth history and growth potential, combined with the unique competitive positioning of Gas Mapping LiDAR in the methane detection space, made Bridger a compelling opportunity for the syndicate. The fit with Bridger’s Montana roots and values-based mission formed a natural partnership between the parties.

The co-lead investor in the syndicate, Madison Valley Partners, is a Bozeman-based investment firm led by Steve Burke, the former CEO of NBCUniversal. Mr. Burke, an avid outdoorsman, spends much of his time in southwest Montana. The other co-lead investor of the syndicate, Carica Sustainable Investments, is led by Ham James and Wallace Henderson, both of whom have strong family ties to Montana and a history of sustainable energy investing. Bozeman’s Next Frontier Capital, led by Will Price and Richard Harjes, has played a central role in growing venture capital investment in Montana by ten-fold over its first five years of operation. “It’s incredible… Bridger is literally changing the world from right here in Bozeman,” stated Price. “Having seen ‘under the hood,’ this is an amazing company and amazing team, and we believe the sky’s the limit for how far we can go together,” added Price.

Bridger’s CEO, Pete Roos echoed the enthusiasm of the investors. “We are beyond excited to share the next stage of our journey with investors from right here in Montana that share our passion for sustainability,” stated Roos, who cofounded Bridger Photonics alongside two graduate school colleagues from Montana State University. “This group of investors knows how to guide Bridger to the next level.  And you know, this group just feels right,” Roos added.

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