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This startup is developing solar-powered aircrafts, and it just got 40M funding to launch them

Skydweller Aero
Image credits: Skydweller Aero

US-Spanish aerospace company, Skydweller Aero develops solar-powered aircraft for defence and commercial industries. A few days back, the company pocketed $40 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round. This comes as it raised an additional $8 million funding as an extension to its Series A round it closed in 2019.

Utilization of funds

The investment round was led by Leonardo S.p.A, Marlinspike Capital, and Advection Growth Capital. Skydweller will use the investment to accelerate the development and maturation of its autonomous systems technology and to be used during flight testing for both existing and potential customers. Also, it will begin designing and manufacturing air vehicles and complete its information and intelligence collection service offerings.

The Series A round builds on the company’s recent momentum wherein it declared its first public contract award with the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Comment (NAVAIR). It was over $5 million to demonstrate the capabilities and performance of their zero-carbon emission solution for long-endurance flights.

Partnership with Palantir Technologies

The round lets Skydweller Aero enter into a partnership with Palantir Technologies, a US company building enterprise data platforms that organizations will use with sensitive and complex data environments.

Skydweller Aero will use the platform of Palantir Foundry to provide contemporary analytics tools to process information at scale and rapidly fuse huge amounts of complex data. Notably, with ample expertise and capabilities within the aerospace and defence industries, Palantir will be an ideal partner that can handle Skydweller’s information collection services.

Heads up on Skydweller Aero

Led by CEO Robert Miller, Skydweller’s tech was born from a Swiss solar aircraft project called Solar Impulse. The aircraft is all-electric, outfitted with 2,200-square-foot solar-panel wings, 600 kilograms of batteries and a hydrogen fuel cell backup power system.

With a flexible payload system, including 4G/5G cellular, communications relay, imaging radar, day/night full-motion video, satellite communication, and more, the company will enhance commercial and government telecommunication, geospatial, meteorological, and emergency operation efforts around the world. This would allow customers to operate persistently in more challenging areas for longer durations while reducing environmental impact.

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