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Maven and Enso invest GBP2million in Cognitive Geology

UK private equity house Maven Capital Partners (Maven) and Enso Ventures (Enso), a specialist early-stage venture capital firm, have invested GBP2million in Cognitive Geology (Cognitive).

The funding will accelerate the roll out of ‘Hutton’ to oil companies and enable Cognitive to develop its pipeline of advanced third-generation petroleum geoscience software modules. These are designed to further help geologists find, appraise, and develop both onshore and offshore conventional and unconventional oil & gas reserves.
Founded in 2014 by Geologist Luke Johnson, Edinburgh-based Cognitive recently launched ‘Hutton’, its first advanced geological data analysis tool. Petroleum geologists analysing the subsurface have to deal with significant uncertainty, which translates into significant investment uncertainty as geologists map an oil reservoir, plan drilling and production, and ultimately maximise oil recovery. Hutton plugs into the major software platforms used throughout the oil and gas industry including Petrel and JewelSuite, aiming to reduce this uncertainty by extracting progressive trends from complex geological datasets. This enables geologists to make better decisions throughout the life cycle of a reservoir.
Hutton’s patented Trendware technology emulates the behaviour of an experienced geologist. Its ability to build multiple reservoir scenarios and to quickly provide users with superior visualisation capabilities is a significant advancement on existing solutions based on decade-old software.
The geoscience software market is worth an annual estimated USD4.5 Billion, and is expected to double in size in the coming years, as old software architectures are replaced by the next generation of technology. With rising costs, falling exploration success rates, and a low oil price, there is significant market demand for innovative, third-generation software such as Hutton.  
David Milroy, Investment Director at Mavenm says: “Luke is a true entrepreneur, having created Hutton to tackle the challenges he himself encountered when working as a geologist responsible for high value upstream oil and gas projects. By providing geologists with the most robust geological explanations for their data so they can make more informed decisions, Cognitive is directly addressing a market need. This gives the firm its edge over its competitors and great potential for success. Luke has assembled a very capable and skilled technical team as well as an experienced advisory board to assist him, and we look forward to helping the team execute their exciting plans.”
Luke Johnson, CEO and Co-founder of Cognitive, says: “The oil industry, one of the first to adopt 3D visualisation and high performance computing, once led software innovation. Today it has fallen behind gaming & cloud technologies. As geologists and technologists ourselves, our mission is to take advantage of modern software architectures to improve the efficiency of our global peers by equipping them with the best software possible for the complex tasks they face daily. To that end, our customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far.
“Today’s low oil prices increase the requirement for better technology, and looking ahead, both Maven and Enso, were quick to recognise the fortuitous timing of our company growth. This investment round will provide us the capital to scale our Edinburgh headquarters and position ourselves as innovators of third-generation software solutions for the energy services sector.”
Oleg Mukhanov, CFO at Enso, adds: “We are excited to support this cutting-edge business, which is set to revolutionise the way geological data is analysed and interpreted. We strongly believe that Cognitive’s high calibre team is capable of delivering on this task, which will put them at the forefront of their industry.”

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