Autonomous air car­go start­up MightyFly has closed $5.1 mil­lion in seed fund­ing, which will be used to scale up the com­pa­ny’s MF-100 eVTOL air­craft and build the infra­struc­ture need­ed to sup­port a glob­al net­work.

The announce­ment also makes MightyFly co-founder Man­al Habib the first woman CEO of an eVTOL air­craft com­pa­ny to secure sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing. This fund­ing round includ­ed invest­ments from 500 Star­tups, At One Ven­tures, Glob­al Founders Cap­i­tal, Graph Ven­tures and Halo­gen Ven­tures. 

Habib said: “MightyFly mar­ries economies of scale with auton­o­my to com­plete­ly dis­rupt logis­tics, mak­ing quick, cost-effi­cient, and car­bon-neu­tral car­go acces­si­ble to all busi­ness­es and all areas. For me, aero­space is more than a pro­fes­sion, it’s a passion—and a way to trans­form lives for the bet­ter.

“Since I was a child, I’ve dreamt of the pos­si­bil­i­ties to advance human civ­i­liza­tion through the pow­er of flight. Today, I’m mak­ing it hap­pen.”

MightyFly­’s autonomous air­craft has a car­go capac­i­ty of up to 100 pounds and can trav­el 600 miles at cruis­ing speeds of 150 mph. Approx­i­mate­ly the size of a mid­size car, the air­craft will pro­vide rapid and effi­cient pack­age trans­port for busi­ness­es and gov­ern­ments. MightyFly has said a larg­er air­craft with car­go capac­i­ty of 500 pounds is planned.

The air­craft are built to the same stan­dards as every com­mer­cial air­plane in the sky and designed for dou­ble redun­dan­cy across all sys­tems, with a fail­ure tol­er­ance that is even bet­ter than manned sys­tems.

MightyFly air­craft will broad­cast Auto­mat­ic Depen­dent Sur­veil­lance-Broad­cast (ADS‑B) in and out and will be in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Unmanned Air­craft Sys­tem Traf­fic Man­age­ment (UTM), as well as MightyFly’s own tow­er. Every MightyFly flight is super­vised 24/7 by a human remote oper­a­tor.

The MF-100 has received a Spe­cial Air­wor­thi­ness Cer­tifi­cate from the FAA, and test flights are being per­formed in Cal­i­for­nia, USA. The com­pa­ny aims to achieve FAA Part 135 cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, and air­wor­thi­ness cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in oth­er mar­kets, like Aus­tralia and Asia.

John Formisano, a retired FedEx exec­u­tive, for­mer­ly VP of Glob­al Vehi­cles, and advi­sor to MightyFly, said: “MightyFly’s range and pay­load are unprece­dent­ed in the expe­dit­ed deliv­ery space today. Most exist­ing deliv­ery plat­forms car­ry much lighter pay­loads much short­er dis­tances.

“While many tra­di­tion­al car­ri­ers are slow­ly mov­ing toward car­bon-neu­tral and autonomous deliv­ery, MightyFly is ready to take off. They have the abil­i­ty to change how busi­ness is done.”

At One Ven­tures Man­ag­ing Part­ner, Tom Chi, added: “MightyFly is cre­at­ing a capa­bil­i­ty that is well posi­tioned to dis­rupt the land­scape of expe­dit­ed logis­tics. Com­pared to exist­ing alter­na­tives, it is faster, low­er-cost, and requires no air­port infra­struc­ture, all while being car­bon neu­tral.

“It could also poten­tial­ly be a leapfrog tech­nol­o­gy for rur­al and less­er devel­oped regions of the world. At One Ven­tures is incred­i­bly excit­ed to be sup­port­ing this team in their mis­sion.”

MightyFly was co-found­ed by Habib and Scott Park­er, who both met while work­ing at Zipline. A grad­u­ate from both MIT and Stan­ford, Habib pre­vi­ous­ly led flight con­trols at Zipline and devel­oped the first robust com­mer­cial flight con­troller. She is also a pri­vate pilot and in the process of build­ing her own air­plane.

While Park­er was a senior mechan­i­cal engi­neer at Zipline, where his unmanned air­craft designs were deployed at scale, deliv­er­ing blood and oth­er med­ical sup­plies to remote loca­tions. He also led prod­uct design at Volan­si and holds a Bach­e­lor of Engi­neer­ing in Mecha­tron­ics and Bach­e­lor of Com­merce from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney.

Based in the San Fran­cis­co Bay Area, MightyFly is cur­rent­ly expand­ing its hir­ing to fur­ther the devel­op­ment of its fleet and seek­ing busi­ness part­ner­ships for proof-of-con­cept deliv­ery ser­vice oper­a­tions.