Seed Funding Round for Electric Aerospace Firm, LaunchPoint, met with Investor Enthusiasm
New Board Member and CFO Join Management Team
GOLETA, California 2/11/21 – LaunchPoint, a Santa Barbara-area, aerospace startup that develops electric motors, hybrid-electric propulsion systems and control software for drones and flying cars, announced today that it closed an oversubscribed round of seed funding.
The robust investor response comes just six months into LaunchPoint’s creation by a team of engineers and business executives, who spun the company out from cutting-edge engineering design incubator, LaunchPoint Technologies in Goleta. Since starting as a new business in June of 2020, LaunchPoint has entered multiple contracts with commercial aerospace and automotive companies and secured more than $1 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop hybrid-electric flight technology and flying cars.
“The success of our seed funding round confirms what we see every day – That there’s significant interest in our technology and the advanced air-mobility propulsion solutions we provide,” said Rob Reali, LaunchPoint’s CEO. “Investors clearly have confidence in our business plan, management team, and talented engineers. This funding accelerates production for existing orders and will bolster our ability to manufacture products in quantity and expand our operations.”
With the seed funding, LaunchPoint has made key new hires, boosted its manufacturing capabilities and expanded the company’s patent portfolio, providing growing protection for the firm’s engineering breakthroughs within an expanding field of international competitors. Demand for electric flight propulsion systems is rising rapidly and LaunchPoint expects that trend to continue, Reali said.
LaunchPoint is currently selling two hybrid-electric propulsion systems – the 6kW hybrid-electric genset for drones and the 40kW genset for larger drone cargo and future air taxis. The company is also developing new products for the higher-power Advanced Air Mobility markets. Firms in these markets are working to build electric and hybrid-electric cargo delivery as well as passenger-carrying aircrafts that are widely regarded as the future of aerospace transportation.
“We’ve achieved all this in the middle of a pandemic and are able to create good jobs,” Reali noted. “We’re looking forward to a strong year with customers in 2021.”
Additionally, the company recently added two new team members: Cyrus “Cy” Morici as Chief Financial Officer and Dr. Burton Tripathi as a board member.
Mr. Morici has over two decades of finance and accounting experience with successes in M&A and exit strategy. Most recently he worked as CFO for Pacific Design Technologies, a leading designer and manufacturer of complex, highly engineered components and assemblies for the commercial and defense aerospace industry. He helped increase the company’s valuation, streamlined financial reporting, and provided strategic guidance culminating in a successful exit. Prior to PDT, Mr. Morici was Director of Finance for NuSil Technology where he was a key contributor on buy and sell-side M&A transactions. He helped raise over $700 million in term loans culminating with an IPO readiness and S-1 filing initiative. Mr. Morici is a veteran Big-4 accounting firm alumnus.
Dr. Tripathi is currently General Manager and Head of Visualization R&D at Alcon. Prior to Alcon, Dr. Tripathi served as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer at TrueVision Systems, where he guided the company to a successful exit coupled with a complex, simultaneous spinout of the company’s non-ophthalmology business. Dr. Tripathi is a McKinsey & Co. management consultant veteran with expertise in advanced technology, life sciences, and corporate finance.