Beta Technologies Lands Another $375 Million in Venture Funding | Business | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Beta Technologies Lands Another $375 Million in Venture Funding

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Published April 20, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.
Updated April 26, 2022 at 5:56 p.m.


ALIA-250 prototype - COURTESY OF BETA TECHNOLOGIES
  • Courtesy of Beta Technologies
  • ALIA-250 prototype
South Burlington aviation startup Beta Technologies announced Wednesday that it has raised $375 million in Series B financing — the Vermont tech darling's second such sum in 12 months.

The new funds, anchored by investments from The Rise Fund, a social impact arm of private equity firm TPG, and Fidelity Management & Research Company, will help Beta bring its battery-powered aircraft to market, the company said.

Beta's Series B funding follows a $368 million fundraising round in May 2021 that drew investment from Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund and others.
The company, headquartered at the Burlington International Airport, is planning to construct a 40-acre manufacturing campus on airport property as it seeks to gets its ALIA-250 aircraft certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2024, and then into commercial production.



The infusion of cash, Beta founder and CEO Kyle Clark said in a press release, "allows us to complete the construction of our production facilities and accelerate our certification work to create a greener and more efficient future for all applications of aviation, starting with cargo and logistics and moving to passenger missions immediately thereafter.”
In its announcement, the company said the funds will be used to refine ALIA's electric propulsion systems and controls, conduct more advanced tests of its two prototypes, and expand its aircraft charging infrastructure.

Recent investments in Beta dwarf those of any other Vermont startup in recent history. In the decade from 2011 through 2020, Vermont companies took in $568 million in venture capital deals, according to estimates compiled by Vermont investment firm Fresh Tracks Capital. Beta alone has raised more than $743 million since May 2021.

The company currently employs around 350 people and could add hundreds more if its expansion moves forward and the company's prototype proves commercially viable.

Beta's planned airport expansion hit a snag last month when South Burlington's Development Review Board declined to waive a requirement that the company erect a building to shield a proposed parking lot from view of the road.
Beta didn't want to do that, saying the structure would cost millions and divert funds from the company's race to build the first commercial electric vertical take-off and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft. A hearing on the issue is scheduled for later this month.