BOSTON, FEBRUARY 04, 2022—REGENT announced today that they have closed a strategic $18M financing round to support the development of their seaglider. The financing round, led by Thiel Capital, includes participation from both existing and new investors, including regional airline Mesa Air Group. Along with their investment, Mesa plans to purchase 200 seagliders, which it will operate both on routes currently served by their aircraft and on new city center to city center direct routes.
“We are thrilled to invest in REGENT and support the development of seagliders. As we approach the anticipated 2025 entry of service of the seagliders, we see a clear value-add for our operations. Investing was a logical next step to deepen our relationship with REGENT,” said Jonathan Ornstein, CEO of Mesa Air Group. “Together, REGENT and Mesa supports a future of sustainable, fast, and convenient transportation. We look forward to being an early operator of REGENT’s 12-passenger Viceroy seagliders and to using our operational learnings to inform REGENT’s design of their higher capacity Monarch seagliders thereafter.”
Investors in this $18M round include lead investors Thiel Capital and JAM Fund, Mesa Air Group, Toba Capital, and Olive Tree Capital. REGENT has raised over $27M of capital over two financing rounds: this $18M round and the $9M round previously announced in April 2021.
"We were honored to receive the strong interest from investors that led us to this additional strategic capital raise. It has been incredibly confidence inspiring to see our investors and customers come together and truly buy-in on our vision of revolutionizing regional transportation with seagliders. We couldn’t ask for a better hard tech investment lead than Thiel Capital, and with participation from Mesa Air Group, we are excited to accelerate seaglider development with a world leader in regional air mobility who is at the vanguard of sustainable transportation technologies,” said Billy Thalheimer, CEO of REGENT.
"A constant reminder of stalled progress is the fact that we long ago stopped moving faster from place to place. As computing speed has risen exponentially, transit times from Boston to New York or Los Angeles to San Francisco have been stagnant since the 1970s. While some have tried to chip away at incremental improvements on buses or planes, REGENT’s solution is an entirely new mode of transportation. We have strong conviction that seagliders, and REGENT’s world-class team, will enable humankind to get moving again.,” said investor Peter Thiel.
The REGENT seaglider is an all-electric flying vessel that combines the speed, comfort, and navigation systems of an aircraft with the convenience, maneuverability, and affordability of a boat. Regulated and certified by maritime authorities, the seaglider will transport commercial passengers and critical cargo up to 180 miles at 180 mph with existing battery technology.
Leveraging existing dock infrastructure, REGENT’s commercial seaglider will FLOAT, FOIL, and FLY. From the dock and while in the no wake zone, the vehicle will float on its hull. Upon reaching 20 mph, it will rise up on its retractable hydrofoil. Hydrofoils offer significant wave tolerance and enhanced passenger comfort as the vehicle leaves the crowded city harbor at speeds between 20-40mph. Upon reaching open water, the vehicle smoothly transitions onto its wing, leaves the water, retracts the foil, and accelerates to a comfortable 180-mph cruise speed-- all while staying within a wingspan of the water’s surface. Flight safety at these altitudes is achieved utilizing a multiple-redundant, state-of-the-art navigation and control system. Similar to a hovercraft, seagliders fly on a dynamic air cushion created by the pressurized air between the wings and the water. The aerodynamic advantage of this so-called “ground effect,” includes significant operational efficiencies, increased payload capability, and greater range.
REGENT’s seagliders will revolutionize regional transportation. Our mission is to drastically reduce the cost and headache of moving people and goods between coastal cities. Our vehicle, called a seaglider, is an all-electric, wing-in-ground-effect craft that operates within a wingspan of the water's surface and couples the speed of an airplane with the operating cost of a boat. Built to the same safety standards of all modern aircraft and watercraft, our vehicle will service routes up to 180 miles with existing battery technology and routes up to 500 miles with next-gen batteries, all via existing dock infrastructure. Our team of MIT-trained, ex-Boeing engineers are leveraging maritime vehicle development pathways to bring our zero-emission, high-speed seagliders to market within five years.
About Mesa Air Group
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Mesa Air Group, Inc. is the holding company of Mesa Airlines, a regional air carrier providing scheduled passenger service to 120 cities in 42 states, the District of Columbia, the Bahamas, and Mexico as well as cargo services out of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. As December 31, 2021, Mesa operated a fleet of 166 aircraft with approximately 457 daily departures and 3,500 employees. Mesa operates all of its flights as either American Eagle, United Express, or DHL Express flights pursuant to the terms of capacity purchase agreements entered into with American Airlines, Inc., United Airlines, Inc., and DHL.