UK/US aircraft developer ZeroAvia has announced the completion of its series C investment round, which it said raised $116m from a variety of investors. It will support the company’s engine certification and its research and development operations, ZeroAvia said.

It includes investments from the UK Infrastructure Bank, Airbus, Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital and NEOM, the Saudi Arabian megaproject.

According to ZeroAvia, the funding will enable the startup to commence advancements in zero-emission aviation while supporting the company’s growth.

Val Miftakhov, founder & CEO of ZeroAvia emphasised the importance of the funding round.

Miftakhov said: “ZeroAvia has grown rapidly in the UK as we have worked to deliver two major historic milestones in aerospace engineering as we look to preserve the benefits of flight through clean propulsion.

“This backing by such a preeminent investor as the UK Infrastructure Bank will help us deliver the first commercial zero-emission flights, and help the UK realise substantial export potential. We are looking forward to working with UKIB over the next few years.”

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The UK Infrastructure Bank joined the round as a “cornerstone” investor, presenting a £32m ($40m) equity investment.

Ian Brown, Head of Banking & Investments at the UK Infrastructure Bank, highlighted how its involvement can help the UK develop a green hydrogen ecosystem.

Brown said: “This is a great example of the bank supporting a first-of-a-kind technology that has real potential to have a telling impact on carbon emissions and help position the UK at the forefront of a developing green hydrogen ecosystem.  

“Aviation and hydrogen are sectors that need significant private investment to get to net zero. By providing confidence to investors, our equity has helped to crowd in the private investment needed for the continued development of this cutting-edge technology and should help stimulate the development and deployment of hydrogen technology across other hard-to-decarbonise sectors.” 

ZeroAvia has established a significant footprint in the aviation market through past initiatives in hydrogen infrastructure. This includes hydrogen collaborations such as its deal with Masdar and a partnership with Absolut Hydrogen.