ZeroAvia raises $21.4 million in funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and others

Hydrogen plane startup ZeroAvia announced on 16 December that it had secured $21.4 million in a funding round led by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures to develop zero-emission commercial aircraft. The Series A funding round also saw participation from Ecosystem Integrity Fund, with follow-on investors Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, Horizons Ventures, Shell Ventures (energy giant Royal Dutch Shell), and Summa Equity.

The company established a partnership with British Airways and received approval for new UK government funding through the ATI Programme to deliver an additional $16.3 million of non-dilutive funding. The announcement brings the total new funding to $37.7 million and the total funding since inception to $49.7 million.

The investment comes on the heels of the company completing the UK’s first-ever commercial-scale battery-electric flight in June 2020 and the first flight of the largest hydrogen fuel cell aircraft in September 2020 as part of the innovative HyFlyer I project. ZeroAvia expects a long-distance flight of 250 miles in the next three months.

Val Miftakhov, founder and CEO of ZeroAvia, said, “Our most recent milestone achievements are closing the gap for the airline industry to begin its transition away from fossil fuels. In fact, over ten forward-looking airlines are now gearing up to implement our powertrains when they are ready in 2023. Both aviation and the financial markets are waking up to the idea that hydrogen is the only meaningful path towards large-scale, zero-emission commercial flight. Powering a 100-seat plane on hydrogen is not out of the question. We feel deeply grateful to our top-tier investors for joining us in the next phase of our exciting journey; to bring in a new golden age of aviation.”

ZeroAvia, which has been conducting test flights in Britain, aims for commercial flights of up to 500 miles using 10- to 20-seat aircraft by 2023 and commercial jets able to haul up to 200 passengers 3,000 miles 2030.

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