Boeing invests in the air taxi startup Wisk Aero once again. This time the startup developing pilotless electric aircraft received $450 million funding. Wisk Aero is considered to be one of the most funded advanced air mobility (AAM) companies. They are working on the services that will be able to move people around the cities.
Wisk was formed in 2019 as a joint venture between Boeing and Kitty Hawk Corporation. The latter is an electric aircraft maker started by Sebastian Thrun and Google co-founder Larry Page. Wisk signed its first deal to operate air taxis in the US back in 2021. While the development of air taxis is going forward the acceptance is real-world applications is also increasing. Boeing’s commitment comes amid a surge in the number of aviation startups that have attracted billions of dollars of investment.
Wisk’s CEO Gary Gysin stated, “As we enter this next stage of our growth, this additional funding provides us with capital while allowing us to remain focused on our core business and our number one priority, safety.”
While the company expects operations close to 14 million annual flights, there is no actual idea on when the technology will be ready. Wisk’s 6th generation eVTOL aircraft will be the first candidate for the certification of “an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft in the US,” according to the statement.
Boeing’s chief strategy officer Marc Allen stated, “Autonomy is the key to unlocking scale across all AAM applications, from passenger to cargo and beyond. That’s why straight-to-autonomy is a core first principle.” Wisk’s competitors, Airbus and Embrae. Whose main challenge is reaching production certificate with their current technology. Recently, Boeing and Alaska airlines partnered to test new technologies and develop eco-friendly planes to try and fight climate change.
However, Wisk’s state is much better as it is being backed by Boeing. Paired with previous funding, this new investment further reinforces Wisk’s strong position as a privately backed company and will significantly advance the company’s Go-to-Market and near-term expansion plans, including the launch of scale manufacturing. Wisk’s 6th generation eVTOL aircraft will represent a first-ever candidate for the certification of an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft in the U.S. The funding will also support the company as it enters an intensive growth phase over the next year, its preparations for the launch of scale manufacturing, and the company’s Go-to-Market efforts. With all the factors considering it looks like Wisk Aero would be the first aircraft company to bring the change in the aerospace industry.