WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (October 27, 2021)
Fortistar, a privately-owned investment firm that provides capital to build, grow and manage companies that address complex sustainability challenges, today announced that it join today announced that it invested in a $200 million in Series B funding round, the largest Series B in aerospace history, for Skyryse. Fortistar invested with deal leads Fidelity Management & Research Company and Monashee Investment Management and other investors including ArrowMark Partners, Republic Capital, Raptor Group, Infinite Capital, Embedded Ventures, K3 Ventures, Rosecliff, SV Pacific Ventures, former Blackstone CFO Laurence Tosi, and Dmitry Balyasny, founder of BAM Hedge Fund in the round as well as other undisclosed investors. Previous investors Venrock, Eclipse Ventures, and Fontinalis Partners also participated in the round. The company has raised $250 million to date.
Skyryse will use the funding to accelerate the development of the company’s flight automation system, FlightOS, already the most advanced automation technology in the industry. Skyryse’s target market is the $7T global transportation sector, which is projected to double by 2030, by putting more people and packages in the sky. FlightOS can be integrated into any aircraft to enable anyone to fly as safely as the best pilots on their best day.
Additionally, Skyryse is announcing partnerships with five of the world’s largest fixed wing and rotorcraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Robinson Helicopters, which collectively produce over half of the world’s new general aviation aircraft. The OEMs will purchase FlightOS, and Robinson Helicopters, the largest production rotorcraft manufacturer in the world, plans to integrate Skyryse’s system into its flagship model, the R66. These Skyryse-powered aircraft will be the most automated vehicles, on land or in the sky, available in the market.
“The general aviation industry is about to change forever,” said Skyryse CEO and founder, Dr. Mark Groden, who was recently named one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs. “We’re on a mission to empower anyone to fly anywhere in any aircraft as safely as the most experienced pilots in the world. Our technology will usher in a new era of mobility, from fighting fires in remote areas to relieving traffic in crowded cities.”
Skyryse’s FlightOS Makes Flight Safer and Simpler
Commercial aviation enjoys an exemplary safety record. That safety record has been achieved in large part because pilots are highly experienced, are licensed for each type of aircraft, and given rigorous continuous recurrent training. However, general aviation technology hasn’t evolved in decades, and poor weather conditions frequently lead to canceled flights. The general aviation industry is strained with a global pilot shortage, and most accidents are due to pilot error.
Skyryse’s technology delivers commercial aviation-level safety to the general aviation industry, and it’s intuitive controls enables anyone to fly safely. Skyryse’s FlightOS replaces the complex controls in a typical cockpit with touchscreen tablets and a joystick, and its fly-by-wire hardware and software handles everything else. The technology protects the pilot from exiting the flight envelope, removes nearly all of the complexities of flying and safely manages the aircraft through emergencies. Pilots can learn to fly a Skyryse-equipped aircraft in minutes, instead of weeks, and the system can safely fly in zero-visibility conditions. With Skyryse, the pilot’s workload is dramatically reduced, freeing them to focus on the most critical flying decisions.
“General aviation hasn’t improved its technology in decades,” said Rob Broggi, Portfolio Manager at Monashee Investment Management. “Technology has the potential to not just make flight safer, but to radically change our transportation system. Skyryse is building this future, and their incredible team is leading us into a new era of mobility.”
Additionally, Skyryse recently brought on two new advisors, Michael Huerta, the former head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Chris Hart, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), to help guide its FAA certification process. Huerta spent seven years leading the FAA, where he was responsible for overseeing the safety of civil aviation in the United States. Hart, a trained pilot, spent over a decade in senior positions at the NTSB, the organization responsible for investigating and preventing major transportation accidents.
“Skyryse is bringing commercial aviation safety technology, which is the safest mode of transportation in the world, to the mass aviation market,” said Huerta.
“This is a breakthrough that the aviation industry has been waiting for to make air transportation accessible to everyone at safety levels that were previously attainable only on commercial airlines,” said Hart.
Skyryse Achieves Industry First Aviation Safety Milestone
Skyryse is committed to designing a system with unprecedented levels of safety. FlightOS includes envelope protection, complete emergency management, and terrain and obstacle avoidance. The system also will safely land any aircraft in the case of engine out. Just last month, a Skyryse-enabled helicopter autonomously entered an autorotation and controlled the descent while gliding to earth without engine power or pilot intervention.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, Skyryse is a transportation technology company built by transportation experts from Airbus, Boeing, Ford, General Atomics, JetBlue, Moog, SpaceX, Tesla, Uber, the U.S. Military and Zoox. The company is building the future of general aviation, and its flagship automation technology, FlightOS, enables anyone to fly in any aircraft, just as safely as the best pilots in the world on their best day. Skyryse has raised $250 million to date and is backed by leading investors including Fidelity Management & Research Company, Monashee Investment Management, ArrowMark Partners, Venrock, Eclipse Ventures, Cantos, Stanford University, and Bill Ford, the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company. skyryse.com
Director of Communications
Tel. (202) 302-7612