Swedish hybrid-electric airplane maker Heart Aerospace has raised a total of $107 million in Series B funding, representing another significant stepping stone toward sustainable regional air travel. The new round brings the total financing raised by Heart Aerospace since its inception to $145 million.
Among new investors is Sagitta Ventures, a Danish investor focused on early-stage companies. Other investors include Air Canada, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, European Innovation Council Fund, EQT Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital, Norrsken VC, United Airlines, and Y Combinator.
“This investment furthers our mission to decarbonize and democratize air travel,” said Anders Forslund, co-founder, and CEO of Heart Aerospace. "The only way forward is to decouple the tremendous growth in aviation from its emissions, and we believe ES-30 is the first stepping stone. Moreover, because of the superior economics of electric aircraft over their fossil-fuel counterparts, the ES-30 will bring back service to communities that have lost connectivity and open many new markets. This upcoming year is an exciting one for Heart Aerospace as we prepare to unveil our full-scale aircraft demonstrator."
Heart Aerospace intends to use the funds to further build its business and make progress toward type certification of the company's first hybrid-electric airplane, the ES-30. The ES-30 is a regional airplane with a seating capacity of 30 passengers that offers lower emissions, lower noise pollution and lower operating costs on short haul routes than current conventionally fueled airplanes, says the company.
In addition to announcing new funding, Heart Aerospace said EQT Ventures partner Ted Persson will be joining the company's Board of Directors.
Heart Aerospace believes the ES-30 is currently the only clean sheet hybrid-electric airplane of its size with an active type certification application with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The focus in the upcoming year will be on the development of Heart Aerospace's hybrid- electric powertrain.
"United's goal of net zero emissions requires bold solutions and that's why we've invested in a broad portfolio of low-carbon technologies including hybrid-electric aircraft," said United Airlines Ventures Managing Director Andrew Chang. "Once operational, we believe Heart's ES-30 aircraft have the potential to reduce our carbon footprint, while serving regional markets across the country."
"Air Canada has adopted a multi-pronged approach to addressing its ambitious net zero emissions by 2050 climate change goal, from advocating for commercial scaling of Sustainable Aviation Fuels to active investment in a range of revolutionary new technologies. Further to our initial equity position in Heart Aerospace to support the development of the ES-30 hybrid-electric regional aircraft which could be deployed in Air Canada's regional markets, we recently strengthened our financial investment in Heart Aerospace with an additional US$5 million to advance the ES-30 aircraft towards type certification," said Michael Rousseau, President & Chief Executive Officer at Air Canada.
Heart Aerospace has 250 orders for the ES-30, with options and purchase rights for an additional 120 planes. The company also has letters of intent for a further 191 airplanes.