BETA Technologies has raised $375 million in an oversubscribed Series B financing round, led by TPG Rise Climate and Fidelity Management & Research Company.
This funding will support the advancement of BETA’s integrated electric aviation system, including its zero emissions aircraft, electric propulsion systems and its nationwide multimodal charging infrastructure.
ALIA-250, BETA’s eVTOL aircraft, was designed initially for transporting medical products and cargo by carrying a 1400 pound payload, and can be configured for up to five people plus a pilot. It requires less than an hour to charge, enabling point-to-point logistics, and creating greater connections between communities.
The company will install more than 65 charging locations in a network extending from Burlington, Vermont, to Melbourne, Florida, and Bentonville, Arizona, and includes on- and off-airport stations.
“Zero emissions aviation is a critical part of turning the corner on climate change, and we are thrilled that our investors see our electric aviation system as a meaningful step towards this ambitious goal,” said Kyle Clark, BETA’s Founder and CEO.
“This support allows us to complete the construction of our production facilities and accelerate our certification work to create a greener and more efficient future for all applications of aviation, starting with cargo and logistics and moving to passenger missions immediately thereafter.”
Jonathan Garfinkel, Partner at TPG and senior member of the TPG Rise Climate investment team, added: “Decarbonising transportation is one of the key focus areas for TPG Rise Climate, and we see BETA as a clear leader in the rapidly growing eVTOL space.
“BETA’s design is highly practical for short and medium movement of cargo, creating significant efficiencies for logistics providers while avoiding emissions from existing regional aircraft and ground transportation.”
“Led by a talented management team, we believe BETA is uniquely positioned to navigate the technological and regulatory environment and drive long-term growth and innovation in the aviation sector.”
In March, two USAF pilots flew ALIA in a handling qualities evaluation test, marking the first-ever manned flight of an electric aircraft through the AFWERX Agility Prime programme, when the pilots underwent extensive safety and preparedness training for the flight tests, and undergoing simulator training to understand how to manage unplanned events.
BETA has assembled a team of research, engineering, and test organisations, as well as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Designated Engineering and Airworthiness Representatives to build a team to ensure compliance with regulations.
In April 2021, UPS placed an order for 10 aircraft with the option to order an additional 140. BETA’s first customer, United Therapeutics, will transport manufactured and repaired organs for human transplantation, and will utilise its charging stations to support those missions.
Blade Urban Air Mobility also ordered five quiet ALIA aircraft with an option for up to 20, with plans to use the aircraft for diverse missions, including airport transfers and longer distance commuter routes.