Novi Labs has embarked on its next stage of growth with increased funding and proven senior software executive, Scott Sherwood, now at its helm.

The Austin, Texas-based technology startup, founded in 2014, pioneered the industry’s first well planning software platform focused on analyzing the economic returns of unconventional shale wells, according to the company press release.

On May 15, Novi said it closed a Series A funding round with Cottonwood Venture Partners and Bill Wood Ventures, raising a total of $7 million. The funding round follows extensive customer growth and field-testing of Novi’s well planning technology, which enables oil and gas companies to optimize economic returns for new wells using artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics.

The cloud-based technology combines AI-driven predictive analytics with multiple well design inputs, capital costs and commodity price assumptions to model the financial performance of a well over time. The company said the technology enables shale producers to optimally allocate capital and mitigate risks for development projects.

To keep pace with growing demand by shale producers, Novi said it plans to deploy its recently raised funds to add additional resources at its Austin headquarters, including product development, sales and customer care staff. The company also plans to invest significantly in the next generation of its well planning technology.

Novi’s newly appointed CEO, Sherwood, will also position the company for the next stage of growth, the company said.

“With our recent funding round, Novi gains the traction to transition from proving our value proposition with early adopters to firmly establishing Novi as the category technology leader,” Sherwood said in a statement. “We are truly grateful for the vote of confidence and funding from Cottonwood Venture Partners and Bill Wood Ventures for fueling Novi’s continued success and accelerating the adoption of Novi’s cost-optimizing technology at such a crucial time in our industry.”

Bill Wood Ventures is an Austin-based firm founded by venture capitalist, Bill Wood, whose track record spans over three decades, according to his LinkedIn page.

“Austin has evolved into an important hub for oil and gas innovation and I am excited about the opportunity to empower top innovators like Novi with the resources, talent, and support needed to thrive in this industry,” Wood said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Cottonwood Venture Partners is a growth equity investment firm based in Houston focused on partnering with technology companies that provide digital solutions for the energy industry.

“Novi is the clear leader in leveraging machine learning to optimize unconventional oil and gas development,” Jeremy Arendt, managing partner of Cottonwood, said in a statement. “We are excited to increase our investment in Novi and we welcome Scott to the team, who has already proven critical to the company’s scalability.”

Sherwood brings more than 20 years of executive management and sales expertise to Novi from across the high tech and software industries, according to the company release.

Prior to Novi, he was CEO of Packet Design, which was acquired by Fortune 1,000 company Ciena. Earlier in his career, he was senior vice president of worldwide sales at NetQoS. He also led successful sales initiatives for Cache IQ and ScienceLogic.

Sherwood is preceded by Novi’s founder, Jon Ludwig, who has moved into a new role as the company’s president. The move will allow Ludwig to focus on expanding Novi’s technology and customer growth.

“A warm welcome to Scott, who joins Novi at a critical inflection point where his skill set and experience will be of utmost value in growing the company to the next level,” Ludwig said in a statement. “As demand for Novi’s products continues to takeoff, the deployment of new capital funding and Scott’s expertise in scaling-up will bring the benefits of AI-driven well planning to the industry on a large scale.” 

Emily Patsy can be reached at