Hermeus raises seed funding for hypersonic aircraft
The funding will further a develop hypersonic propulsion system set to reduce flights from New York to London to 90 minutes.
Hermeus Corporation, an Atlanta-based startup with the goal of speeding air transportation through hypersonic aircraft, has announced a seed round investment led by Khosla Ventures.
The financing, which also includes additional participation from private investors, will further the development and testing of Hermeus' hypersonic propulsion system.
Founded in 2018, Hermeus is developing aircraft capable of flight in excess of Mach 5 - over 3,000 miles per hour. At Mach 5, flight times from New York to London will be reduced from 7 hours to 90 minutes.
Hermeus’ founders are alumni from SpaceX and Blue Origin. Additionally, all four worked together at Generation Orbit, where AJ Piplica served as CEO and Glenn Case, Mike Smayda, and Skyler Shuford served as technical directors.
While there, they led the development of the X-60A, a hypersonic rocket-plane and the Air Force’s newest X-Plane.
Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, said: “Hermeus is developing an aircraft that not only improves the aviation experience with very reduced flight times, but also has the potential to have great societal and economic impact."
Co-founder and CEO AJ Piplica added: “We’ve set out on a journey to revolutionise the global transportation infrastructure, bringing it from the equivalent of dial-up into the broadband era, by radically increasing the speed of travel over long distances. We’re excited to work with Khosla Ventures to turn this vision into reality.”
Advisory board announced
Hermeus has also announced a Board of Advisors to help define the Hermeus strategy with respect to safety, markets and technology.
Board members include: Rob Meyerson, Former President, Blue Origin; Rob Weiss, Former EVP/GM Lockheed Martin Skunk Works; Keith Masback, Former CEO, US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation; Director, Source Operations, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; Director, ISR Integration, US Army; Katerina Barilov, Founder, Sparkplug capital+ and Managing Director, Shearwater Aero Capital; Dr George Nield, Former Associate Administrator, FAA and Mitch Free - Founder and CEO, ZYCI and Former Director of Technical Operations, Northwest Airlines.
Rob Meyerson said: “With experience from the best of NewSpace companies, the Hermeus team is well positioned to disrupt the hypersonics industry.”