REGENT, a US-based startup developing a new generation of sea-skimming ground effect vehicles keeps adding names to its roster of investors.
The latest is Yamato Holdings, the largest parcel delivery provider in Japan, handling around 2 billion parcels per year.
Along with new funds come also strategic opportunities to enter new industry verticals, with the announcement of March 28, 2023, being touted as an opportunity to introduce seaglider technology into the express logistics and parcel delivery space.
According to Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of REGENT, “This investment from Yamato sets a clear path forward for our vision on seagliders to serve the critically important middle mile routes that connect high-volume freight carriers coming into port with last mile delivery services.”
Seagliders, as REGENT calls the vehicles it is developing, make use of a physical principle called “ground effect,” which allows for craft moving very close to the surface of water (but without touching it) to move at speeds of 180mph or more.
Yamato’s interest in REGENT’s seagliders as means for parcel delivery in coastal areas complements previous investments of the Japanese logistics operator in other forms of advanced mobility and transportation, such as drones and eVTOL aircraft.
An earlier investment in REGENT by Lockheed Martin’s venture capital arm on March 22, 2023, was similarly seen as a door open into the domain of defense projects.
Even earlier this year, in January, REGENT had also secured funding from another prominent Japanese company, Japan Airlines, through its Japan Airlines Innovation Fund.