Hermeus, an Atlanta-based aerospace company, announced a $100 million Series B funding round toward the completion of its hypersonic aircraft, Quarterhorse.
The startup gained two new investors, Founder’s Fund and In-Q-Tel, adding to its growing list of funders, which includes:
- Khosla Ventures
- Canaan Partners
- Bling Capital
- Revolution’s Rise of the Rest
The $100 million Series B funding round was led by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI.
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
The funding will support the completion of Hermeus’ first aircraft, Quarterhorse, and will help advance development of its uncrewed, hypersonic aircraft named Darkhorse. According to the company, its first two aircraft will aid development of its commercial passenger aircraft, Halcyon.
“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.”
Last year, Hermeus unveiled a full-scale concept mockup of the Quarterhorse, which could become the first hypersonic Air Force One. The startup was awarded a $60 million jointly funded contract by the U.S. Air Force in July 2021.
“Our mission to massively accelerate global transportation requires tackling some of engineering’s hardest challenges,” said Hermeus 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.”
Over the past year, Hermeus acquired its factory and test facility in the Atlanta area, where it has conducted more than 100 engine tests.The company is expecting to fly Quarterhorse next year.