International Airlines Group (IAG) increases its investment following an initial commitment from the Group last year
Barclays’ flagship Sustainable Impact Capital investment vehicle also joins the round, alongside the world’s largest hydrogen-focused future city NEOM project and multi-stage impact technology fund AENU, to power path to zero-emission flight
Additional investment brings investment round to $68 million following December raise, including United Airlines and Alaska Airlines
FARNBOROUGH, United Kingdom, July 20, 2022 – ZeroAvia, the leader in hydrogen-electric, zero-emission aviation, today announced $30 million in funding from new investors Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital, NEOM and AENU, with International Airlines Group (IAG) adding to prior investment from the Group, bringing the Series B round to $68 million.
ZeroAvia counts three major airline groups as strategic investors in the shape of IAG, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines. The fresh investment will further advance ZeroAvia’s 2-5MW hydrogen-electric powertrain development program, which aims to power 40-80 seat aircraft with zero-emission engines by 2026. Larger aircraft will use liquid hydrogen fuel as opposed to gaseous for smaller aircraft, allowing a higher energy density and increased range and payload. Being an early mover in this space opens up the potential to capture a significant chunk of the regional aviation engine market.
ZeroAvia will also deploy the funding for building infrastructure at airport sites, which will support live demonstrations of its Hydrogen Airport Refueling Ecosystem (HARE), in preparation for routes carrying passengers and cargo in the next handful of years.
Val Miftakhov, founder and CEO, ZeroAvia said: “Each of these star investors brings a unique perspective and strength to ZeroAvia’s wider team – from one of the world’s biggest airline groups, one of the largest and most historic banks, to the ambitious project to build the world’s first zero-carbon metropolis, as well as a pure-play impact investor. Our new investors are each looking at our journey through a different lens, but all energized by our mission to enable zero-emission flight using hydrogen-electric engines. This is a great recognition of ZeroAvia’s leadership in the space, fueled by real, tangible achievements.”
IAG combines leading airlines in Ireland, Spain and the UK, including Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, LEVEL and Vueling. It was the first airline group worldwide to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and began partnering with ZeroAvia in 2020, when its Hangar 51 accelerator programme featured it as a participant.
Luis Gallego, IAG´s chief executive, said: “IAG has been leading aviation´s efforts towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. We are investing in a range of solutions, including hydrogen, which we believe has huge potential especially for short-haul routes.”
This is the 14th overall investment made by Barclays through their Sustainable Impact Capital Programme, which has a mandate to invest up to £175m of equity capital in sustainability-focused start-ups by 2025.
Steven Poulter, Head of Principal Structuring and Investments at Barclays said: “The aviation industry will require significant and recurring investment in the years ahead to ensure its technological evolution can keep pace with global decarbonisation targets. ZeroAvia is an innovative, industry-leading aviation business – we are delighted to support its ambition towards zero-emission flight, and look forward to seeing them accelerate change in the sector.”
NEOM is leveraging green hydrogen as a key power source in delivering the world’s first zero-carbon city. NEOM can produce green hydrogen for power at scale and recently launched a Hydrogen Innovation and Development Center. In addition to the investment relationship, ZeroAvia and NEOM will partner to bring fleets of ZeroAvia fuel cell-powered aircraft of all size classes to the region.
John Selden CEO of NEOM Airports, said: “Aviation will play a key role in supporting our work to deliver a zero-carbon city and we envisage hydrogen-electric aircraft connecting NEOM to regional destinations and beyond via zero-emission flight. From NEOM Bay Airport, a flight to Cairo for example, will be well within range of a 20-seat turboprop aircraft powered by ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell engine by the end of the decade.”
AENU, an evergreen impact fund that invests multi-stage in climate-tech and social impact companies in Europe and the U.S., is making ZeroAvia its first investment into green aviation, applying its mission to drive environmental sustainability to one of the hardest to abate sectors.
The funding announcement comes in the midst of ground testing of ZeroAvia’s ZA600 powertrain at its UK R&D facility at Cotswold Airport, part of Project HyFlyer II which aims to demonstrate hydrogen-electric flight in a Dornier 228 aircraft. This is the second in a family of projects designed to pioneer the technology, supported by the UK Government through matched grant funding provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Innovate UK and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI). ZeroAvia also recently welcomed a second Dornier 228 testbed to its expanded facility at Hollister, CA.
ZeroAvia is a leader in zero-emission aviation, focused on hydrogen-electric aviation solutions to address a variety of markets, initially targeting a 300-mile range in 9-19 seat aircraft by 2024, and up to 700-mile range in 40-80 seat aircraft by 2026. Based in the UK and USA, ZeroAvia has already secured experimental certificates for its two-prototype aircraft from the CAA and FAA, passed significant flight test milestones, secured a number of key partnerships with major aircraft OEMs and major global airlines, and is on track for commercial operations in 2024. The company’s expanding UK operations are supported by grants from UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK, and ZeroAvia is part of the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council. For more, please visit ZeroAvia.com, follow @ZeroAvia on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
International Airlines Group (IAG) is one of the world’s largest airline groups with 533 aircraft flying to 279 destinations and carrying around 118 million passengers each year (pre-COVID). Its leading airlines in Spain, the UK and Ireland include Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and LEVEL.
As part of the firm’s broader commitments, Barclays will invest £175m of its own capital, led by the Principal Investments team, in fast-growing, innovative, environmentally-focused companies whose values are aligned with those of Barclays and which target the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement. Investments will be strategic to Barclays, its clients and the communities it serves, with clear scalable propositions that deliver both environmental benefits and economic returns. To find out more, click here.
NEOM is an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a New Future might look like. It is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship will chart the course for this New Future. It will be a destination and a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for exceptional livability, creating thriving businesses and reinventing environmental conservation.
NEOM will include hyperconnected, cognitive towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues, and tourist destinations. As a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in groundbreaking ways. Residents of NEOM will embody an international ethos and embrace a culture of exploration, risk-taking and Diversity. For further information, email [email protected] or visit www.neom.com and www.neom.com/en-us/newsroom.
AENU is an evergreen impact fund that invests multi-stage in climate-tech and social impact companies in Europe & US. AENU drives systemic transformation in venture capital towards impact, accessibility and stakeholder-alignment. Visit aenu.com or follow us on Linkedin and Twitter.