Series C funding of $116 million is set to accelerate ZeroAvia's journey to certification of its first engines and advance R&D that will scale the clean propulsion technology for larger aircraft. The UK Infrastructure Bank joins the round as a cornerstone-level investor alongside co-leads Airbus, Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital and NEOM Investment Fund (NIF).
Aviation is one of the fastest growing sectors and one of the most challenging to decarbonise, contributing the equivalent of more than 38 million tonnes of CO2 from international and domestic journeys starting and ending in the UK. Around a quarter of UK carbon emissions are predicted to come from aviation in 2050. This funding raise will help support the UK government's target to decarbonise aviation by 2050 by developing new clean propulsion technologies that can be flying between UK airports this decade.
A thriving sustainable hydrogen ecosystem will be crucial for net zero and is an area in which the UK Infrastructure Bank is keen to act as a market leader. The success of hydrogen in aviation can act as a catalyst for the development and rollout of wider hydrogen infrastructure, helping to create a green hydrogen market in the UK and beyond. It also strongly aligns with the Bank's mandate to support nascent technology and crowd in private investment against its twin objectives of driving regional growth and tackling climate change.
Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia founder and CEO, says: "ZeroAvia has grown rapidly in the UK as we have delivered two major historic milestones in aerospace engineering as we look to preserve the benefits of flight through clean propulsion. This backing by such a pre-eminent investor as the UK Infrastructure Bank will help us deliver the first commercial zero-emission flights and help the UK realise substantial export potential. We are looking forward to working with UKIB over the next few years."
Ian Brown, head of banking and investments at the UK Infrastructure Bank, adds: "This is a great example of the Bank supporting a first of a kind technology that has real potential to have a telling impact on carbon emissions and help position the UK at the forefront of a developing green hydrogen ecosystem.
"Aviation and hydrogen are sectors that need significant private investment to get to net zero. By providing confidence to investors, our equity has helped to crowd in the private investment needed for the continued development of this cutting-edge technology and should help stimulate the development and deployment of hydrogen technology across other hard to decarbonise sectors."
Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Alaska Airlines, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Summa Equity, AP Ventures and Amazon Climate Pledge Fund have also participated in the funding round.
ZeroAvia's engines will support a 300 mile range in nine–19 seat aircraft by the end of 2025 and up to 700 mile range in 40–80 seat aircraft by 2027. The company has secured experimental certificates to test its engines in three separate testbed aircraft with the FAA and CAA and passed significant flight test milestones. It has also signed a number of key engineering partnerships with major aircraft OEMs and has nearly 2,000 pre-orders for engines from a number of the major global airlines, with future revenue potential over $10 billion.