Skydweller Aero achieves new heights in fundingPublished: Friday, September 10, 2021 By: Journal Record Staff Source: The Journal Record
Skydweller Aero Inc. continues to attract financial backing as it accelerates wide-ranging possibilities for solar-powered aircraft.
The U.S.-Spanish aerospace firm announced this week that it has raised $40 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round. The figure reflects $8 million of additional funding after Skydweller previously reported its Series A close in 2019.
Skydweller announced last year that it would establish corporate headquarters and engineering operations in Oklahoma City and testing and integration in Ardmore, with plans to onboard 120 aerospace engineering and field technician jobs in the state by 2024.
The company is developing aircraft for uses in telecommunications, government operations, emergency services and for other defense and commercial purposes, it said in a release. Its engineers envision solar-powered aircraft capable of achieving “perpetual flight” with heavy, powerful payload capacity.
“Utilizing technology based upon the longest continuous renewably powered flight program in history, (we are) developing a new class of unmanned aircraft, providing the persistence of geosynchronous satellites with the powerful sensing capabilities and flexibility of a large, airborne platform,” it said.
The latest funding round also marked a critical partnership between Skydweller and Palantir Technologies, the company said.
Palantir is a publicly traded company that builds enterprise data platforms for organizations within complex, sensitive data environments. Skydweller will use Palantir’s Foundry platform, which provides state-of-the-art analytics tools to process information and rapidly fuse vast amounts of data, it said.
Skydweller Chief Executive Officer Robert Miller said the company has drawn investor interest enough to exceed the company’s initial fundraising goals.
“This points to significant market growth and a great need for this technology across the commercial and government industries,” he said. “We are also delighted and honored to announce Palantir as a key investor and partner, as we work to develop the next generation of persistent airborne solutions.”
Miller said Skydweller will accelerate development and maturation of its autonomous systems technology and design and manufacture of air vehicles.
Palantir President Akash Jain said the company’s technologies will yield vast benefits.
“We see Skydweller as the next-generation platform of renewably powered aircraft that can be leveraged for intelligence, telecommunications and geospatial data and more,” Jain said.
According to the release, the Series A raise builds on Skydweller’s recent momentum, which resulted in announcement of its first public contract award with the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to demonstrate capabilities of a zero-carbon emission solution for long endurance flight.
The financing was led by Leonardo S.p.A, Marlinspike Capital and Advection Growth Capital.