Friday, May 22, 2020

With Money From Walmart’s Marc Lore, Stealth Startup Archer Buys Its Way Into The Electric Air Taxi Race

Our boilerplate (since '16!) introduction:
As the only analysts covering the nascent as-yet-theoretical autonomous electric flying taxi market we intend to be the the go-to source for all things autonomous electric flying taxi and/or theoretical....
From Forbes, May 21:
Over the past few months, a mysterious company called Archer Aviation has been setting tongues wagging in the small world of West Coast dreamers trying to build the future of air travel.
The founders, two Wall Street figures who built and sold a financial talent recruiting firm, have lured dozens of top engineers away from electric air taxi startups like Joby and Boeing-backed Wisk with rich compensation packages that include signing bonuses of two to three times annual salary and talk of connections to deep-pocketed investors.

Now they’re coming out of stealth, offering sparse details on the aircraft they aim to build and revealing a big-name backer who they believe will help them amass the hundreds of millions in funding they’ll need at a time when investment in the space is receding: Marc Lore, Walmart’s e-commerce chief and founder of Jet.com.

Newcomers to a complex industry, Brett Adcock and Adam Goldstein told Forbes they’re very aware of the difficulties. “High capital costs, advanced hardware technologies, long timelines – overall it’s a very challenging business with a low chance of success,” says Adcock.

Compounding that, they’re off to a late start in a crowded field: There are over 100 initiatives under way around the world to develop electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, according to the consultancy Roland Berger. Some are getting money and manufacturing help from industrial giants: Toyota has invested in California-based Joby, and Daimler and Geely are backing Germany’s Volocopter, while Boeing has taken control of Kitty Hawk’s Cora program, now renamed Wisk, and Hyundai Motor has launched its own electric air taxi effort....
....MORE

Not that it should matter but Wal*Mart just shut down Jet.com.
Which brings to mind our last post on electric flying taxis:
An Electric Flying Taxi That Addresses The Death Zone Problem

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