REGENT Craft, the Rhode Island-based manufacturer of all-electric seagliders, announced today it has raised $60 million in Series A funding co-led by 8090 Industries and Founders Fund. The round includes previously announced strategic investments by Japan Airlines Innovation Fund, Lockheed Martin, and Yamato Holdings, and is joined by Point72 Ventures, Caffeinated Capital, Mark Cuban, UAE's Strategic Development Fund, Future Planet Capital and others, bringing the company's total funding to date to $90 million. The new funding fully capitalizes REGENT's full-scale prototype build and test program with crewed flight in 2024, and keeps the company on track to certify, manufacture, and deliver its seagliders to customers by mid-decade.
Seagliders are a new mode of transportation that enables fast, affordable, zero-emission travel along coastal routes. Coupling advanced technologies from hydro-foiling watercraft and electric aviation, seagliders operate like a boat at docks and in harbors, take off from wave-tolerant hydrofoils, and fly within one wingspan of the surface over open water. They reach cruise speeds up to 180 mph while traveling up to 180 miles on a single charge.
REGENT demonstrated this unique “float, foil, fly” mission with a subscale prototype in 2022, marking the first time a vehicle has successfully combined the wave tolerance of a foil with the speed of a wing. The company's next major milestone will be to achieve crewed flight with its full-scale prototype, which it plans to do next year.
“There are extraordinarily few companies today with battery powered vehicles that can fly human crew, and REGENT is about to join those ranks,” said Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of REGENT. “Seagliders will be the first electric flying machine to be economically viable, and I'm willing to bet, the first one that the majority of the world will take a ride in.”
Thalheimer adds: “8090 Industries is the perfect investor to lead this round, bringing a deep bench of industrial titans focused on sustainability, aerospace, and defense that will support scaling REGENT's global footprint. We're also thrilled to have the continued support of Founders Fund, whose vision for a new era of American industrialism couldn't be a better fit for our goal to revolutionize regional travel. The validation from such incredible strategic partners across the commercial and defense sectors underscores the urgent need for a high-speed, low-cost, sustainable mobility solution.”
"REGENT has both a category defining technology and a strong business model that will solidify their position as a leader in sustainable transportation this decade,” said Kerem Ozmen, co-founder and CEO of 8090 Industries. “Our two investment pillars are sustainability and aerospace and defense, and REGENT falls perfectly in the intersection. With about a quarter of the planet's CO2 emissions coming from transportation, and with the sector growing faster than any other, the time to act with new technologies is now. REGENT will be one of, if not the first manufacturer in the advanced air mobility vertical to complete certification and bring their product to market.”
“REGENT is a once-in-a-generation company with the power to truly transform an entire sector,” said Delian Asparouhov, partner at Founders Fund. “Their faster, cheaper, and cleaner solution for regional mobility is the first radical advance in transportation in decades. REGENT is a textbook example of the type of ambitious technologies we need to grow the U.S. industrial base and today we're doubling down on our commitment to their vision.”
Seagliders are purpose built to serve coastal communities, a large but under-addressed market segment that the company estimates to be worth $25 billion by 2030. REGENT's flagship seaglider, Viceroy, will carry 12 passengers up to 180 miles with existing battery technology, while its vision product, Monarch, will carry 100 passengers on routes up to 500 miles.
REGENT has secured a commercial order book for over 500 seagliders representing more than $8 billion from global airline and ferry customers including Mesa Airlines, Brittany Ferries, and FRS, showing the multi-sector excitement for the sustainable mobility product. The company recently announced that Southern Airways will take delivery of the first production Viceroy, which will operate under their Mokulele Airlines brand. In addition to passenger travel, seagliders support multiple mission sets such as cargo transport, search and rescue, offshore logistics, and defense applications, which further expand the company's customer base and market opportunities.
REGENT expects the Viceroy seaglider to enter into service by mid-decade, following a certification pathway supported by the U.S. Coast Guard and other global maritime authorities, with Monarch entry into service by the end of the decade.
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