Hermeus Nabs $16M Series A
|Photo credit: Hermeus Corp|
Hermeus, an Atlanta-based startup that’s aiming to develop Mach 5 aircraft, has raised $16 million in Series A funding led by venture capital firm Canaan Partners, with participation from existing investors Khosla Ventures, Bling Capital, and Steve Case’s Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Fund.
The fundraising follows a recent contract awarded to Hermeus by the United States Air Force to develop a possible hypersonic ‘Air Force One’ aircraft for presidential travel. In February this year, Hermeus successfully tested a prototype engine for its proposed hypersonic aircraft and is now looking to conduct a test for a scaled-up version of the engine. The company has a facility in the city of Atlanta that caters to light in-house manufacturing and testing.
Still in a prototyping phase, Hermeus hasn’t yet produced a set design for its proposed hypersonic aircraft. The company says it expects to take around a decade of development before a working aircraft is produced.
With plans for Mach 5 speeds (over 3000 miles-per-hour), Hermeus seems to be overly ambitious. As of now, the aircraft speed record is held by the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance plane which is capable of reaching Mach 3+ speeds. It seems much more ambitious that Hermeus is looking to produce hypersonic passenger planes, something that hasn’t yet been achieved.
Hermeus’s Series A fundraising comes on the heels of a similar company, Boom Supersonic, debuting a demonstration version of its supersonic jet. Boom is backed by $160 million in private funding but is looking to debut a supersonic (Mach 1-3) plane rather than a hypersonic one like Hermeus. Just like Hermeus, Boom has also scored a contract to produce a possible supersonic ‘Air Force One’ plane for US presidential travel.
Boom recently unveiled a demonstrator version of its planned supersonic passenger aircraft that’ll begin test flights next year. Just like Hermeus, Boom is projecting a decade of development before a working passenger plane can be produced.