Elroy Air, a California-based aerospace startup, has raised $40 million in a Series A financing round to continue the development of its autonomous cargo aircraft technology.
The funding round counted with the participation of new investors like Marlinspike Capital, Lockheed Martin Ventures, and Prosperity7 Ventures, as well as existing investors Catapult Ventures, DiamondStream Partners, Side X Side Management, Shield Capital Partners, and Precursor Ventures. This rounds brin the total funding raised by the startup to $48 million.
David Merrill, CEO of Elroy Air, referred to how the round will help fulfill the startup’s vision by stating:
“This funding propels us into an exciting new stage of our business. We’re going to complete the build of full-capability pre-production aircraft, advance our certification programs, secure key supply chain partnerships, and enter into flight-test operations in collaboration with our partners at the Naval Postgraduate School and the US Air Force. It’s going to be an amazing next phase!”
Founded in 2016, Elroy Air has assembled a team of experts in the fields of autonomous systems, software architecture, aerospace engineering, robotics, supply chain, and more, to create the next generation of autonomous cargo aircraft. At this time, its flagship is the Chaparral autonomous vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft, which will offer increased payload capacity when compared with air taxi vehicles.
The technology is targeted at areas like multinational parcel shippers, immediate humanitarian aid, flexible logistics, militarily resupply, and more. In this regard, VP of Business Development and Strategy Kofi Asante said:
“Rapid logistics has exponentially grown over the last couple of years. We believe that building an autonomous VTOL logistics system that does not require additional infrastructure can play a vital role in enabling rapid delivery for commercial, defense, and humanitarian logistics”
At this time, the commercial courier, express, and parcel market are estimated to be worth around $450 billion worldwide, which is likely to continue growing over the next years. With delivery drones like the ones offered by the aerospace startup increasing the efficiency and reducing costs, experts predict increasing interest by companies requiring parcel delivery.