British advanced air mobility startup Vertical Aerospace announced on January 22, 2023, that its founder and CEO, Stephen Fitzpatrick, had invested an additional US$50 million into the company.
This investment is structured in two tranches, the first totaling US$25 million at US$10 per share, while the remaining US$25 million will be disbursed before July 31, 2024, at a price that is yet to be determined.
With this fresh injection of capital Vertical Aerospace claims to have extended its financial runway until at least Q2 2025, as it continues to work towards certification of its VX4 eVTOL aircraft.
The VX4, which started its flight test campaign in July 2023, is expected to be granted certification towards the end of 2026.
Vertical Aerospace boasts an order book with more than 1,400 VX4 aircraft ordered by operators from all over the world.
The largest pre-order arrived from Ireland-based leasing firm Avolon, which signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for 500 VX4 eVTOLs in June 2021. The lessor subsequently placed all the aircraft with air operators such as Brazilian low-cost airline GOL, Air Asia, Japan Airlines, Air Greenland, and Turkish aviation group Gözen Holding.
American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have also placed pre-orders for the VX4, with the former also paying a deposit to secure early delivery slots.
Despite the considerable interest it has garnered within the industry, Vertical Aerospace’s share price has tumbled from its initial listing (via SPAC) of US$1.12 share price in December 2021, to US$0.052 on January 22, 2024, due to investor concerns regarding the cost and length of the certification process.
“The company has achieved significant technical progress both in its prototype programme and its certification plans in 2023, that I believe is not reflected in our share price,” Fitzpatrick said in a press release.
“Given the success I have seen in the past 12 months, I am more confident than ever in our world class team, and I am delighted to further support the company with additional funding,” he continued.