Electric aviation startup BETA Technologies announced that it has raised $368 million in a Series A private funding round led by Fidelity and joined by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund as well as new and returning investors.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to fund BETA’s development of a fully integrated electric aviation ecosystem (EVA), which aims to reshape how people and cargo move while reducing the environmental impact of aviation. The company is currently developing ALIA, an Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, expected to produce zero operational emissions, and to be capable of flying 250 nautical miles on a single charge and carrying six people, or a pilot and 1,500 pounds.
Amazon’s investment was made through its Climate Pledge fund, a venture investment program aimed at backing visionary companies developing products and services that facilitate the transition to a zero carbon economy. The $2 billion fund was established in June 2020, aiming to help Amazon and other companies achieve the goals outlined in The Climate Pledge, including reaching net zero carbon by 2040.
Kara Hurst, Vice President, and Head of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon, said:
“We support BETA Technologies’ mission to reshape air transportation through zero-emission aviation and are proud to invest in them through Amazon’s $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund. The development of sustainable and decarbonizing technologies will help facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy and protect the planet for future generations.”
BETA has announced several recent milestones for its new aircraft, including a new partnership secured with UPS last month which included the right to order up to 150 aircraft, the signing of its first passenger service customer Blade Air Urban Mobility, a partnership with the United States Air Force, and an agreement with United Therapeutics to use BETA aircraft to transport its synthetic organs for human transplant.
Kyle Clark, BETA’s Founder and CEO, said:
“BETA is focused on transforming aviation and finding a solution to help companies reach zero emissions within the next 20 years. We’re pleased with progress on our zero-operational-emission electric aircraft and the ecosystem we’re building to support it. It’s gratifying to have Amazon’s confidence as we work to enable sustainable cargo transportation.”