Regent, the U.S company pioneering electric-powered seagliders, recently announced another investment (amount undisclosed), this time from Japan Airlines (JAL) Innovation Fund, raising the company’s total to over USD45 million, reports a press release. Other investors include Thiel Capital, Y Combinator, Founders Fund and Mark Cuban.
Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of Regent, commented, “At Regent, we’re at the helm of ushering in a completely new era in sustainable transportation, and JAL Innovation Fund’s investment adds to the resources and support that we need to unveil an innovative approach for regional travel at lower costs, faster speeds and zero emissions.”
Yasushi Noda, Senior Vice President of Digital Innovation at Japan Airlines, added, “We believe seagliders are a safe, sustainable, and economical solution and we are excited to work with Regent to assess demand not only in Japan, but around the world.”
The company’s Seaglider, named Viceroy, can carry up to 12 passengers and/or cargo. It is a new mode of transportation that combines the high speeds of an aeroplane with the low operating cost of a boat. It leverages existing dock infrastructure to carry people and goods up to 180 miles between coastal destinations. Regent has sold over 400 examples to date, to global aviation and ferry customers including Mokulele Airlines, Southern Airways Express, FRS (Germany), and Ocean Flyer (New Zealand).
With more than USD7.5 billion in orders from commercial operating partners around the world, Regent aims for its Viceroy, to enter service within three to four years.
In addition to the investment, Regent and JAL are exploring opportunities for ecosystem development, bringing together relevant stakeholders to deliver the benefits of seagliders to new and underserved markets.
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(Graphic Images: Regent)