Hermeus is pleased to announce the closing of a $100 million Series B round led by Sam Altman.
Introducing new investors Along with existing investors Khosla Ventures, Canaan Partners, Bling Capital, and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest, Founder’s Fund and In-Q-Tel (the strategic investor to US intelligence agencies and allies) participated in the round.
This capital will be used to complete the development of Hermeus’ first aircraft, Quarterhorse, to launch flight services, and to accelerate the development of Hermeus’ next aircraft, Darkhorse – an uncrewed aircraft capable of sustained hypersonic flight. Darkhorse’s development, flight testing, airworthiness, and operations will inform Hermeus’ approach to developing its commercial passenger aircraft Halcyon.
“Hermeus is pursuing an ambitious vision that seems impossible at first glance, but they pair it with an engineering culture and business roadmap that can actually bring it into reality,” Altman explained. “Their experienced and passionate team will drive growth across the globe both economically and socially. It’s a future I want to live in and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team.”
This fundraising round demonstrates how private investment can leverage public funds and accelerate the development of hypersonic aircraft. Hermeus intends to bring hundreds of millions of private dollars to develop this technology and lay the groundwork for its long-term vision of hypersonic passenger travel by targeting the government as an early market for its reusable hypersonic platforms.
“Hermeus is the hypersonics company the country needs right now – the right people, moving incredibly fast, and building for both commercial and defense markets,” said Trae Stephens, Partner at Founders Fund. “The team has shown it can buy down risk quickly as it starts demonstrating the utility of hypersonic engines and aircraft.”
Within the last year, Hermeus has expanded its manufacturing facility to 110,000 square feet, converted an open field into a test facility, conducted over 100 engine tests, designed and built a prototype of its first aircraft, tested a full-scale proprietary Mach 5 engine dubbed Chimera, and more than doubled the size of the team, all for less than $15 million.
“Our mission to massively accelerate global transportation requires tackling some of engineering’s hardest challenges,” said CEO AJ Piplica. “This funding round is a strong validation of the team’s ability to rise and meet those challenges. It also starts a new phase for the company – one where the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, but also where we have the resources to accomplish what some think is impossible.”
Hermeus has set a target date of 2023 for flying Quarterhorse.