Elroy Air Raises $40MM Series A financing including Lockheed Martin Ventures to accelerate the development of its Chaparral Autonomous VTOL Cargo Aircraft
Strategic and financial investors back the California-based aerospace company leading the industry in large autonomous VTOL delivery drones for middle-mile express commercial shipping and Defense logistics.
San Francisco, California, August 3, 2021 — Elroy Air, the Aerospace and Logistics company developing the world’s first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo systems, has raised a $40MM Series A financing from Marlinspike Capital, Lockheed Martin Ventures, and Prosperity7 Ventures alongside continued backing from existing investors including Catapult Ventures, DiamondStream Partners, Side X Side Management, Shield Capital Partners and Precursor Ventures. The fresh financing brings Elroy Air’s total investment raised to date to $48MM.
The Elroy Air team is a dedicated, diverse group of experts in autonomous systems and software architectures, aerospace engineering, robotics, design, shipping logistics, supply chain and manufacturing. With headquarters in San Francisco, California the company was started by Dave Merrill and Clint Cope who met while working in the small unmanned aerial system (UAS) industry. Elroy Air’s leadership has backgrounds from Stanford, MIT, Georgia Tech, the Wharton School of Business, and the aerospace, robotics, and drone industries. Recently added to Elroy Air’s roster as Chief Operating Officer is Jay Wakenshaw. Jay is an experienced Aerospace business leader, and has held numerous high profile leadership roles in both Private Equity held companies and global publicly traded companies, including GKN Aerospace, Ascent Aerospace and Toray Advanced Composites.
Elroy Air is developing the Chaparral: an autonomous vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft to deliver cargo rapidly and flexibly by air. Chaparral is designed to fly 300–500 lbs of cargo at a time over a 300-mile range. The VTOL aircraft is differentiated from other “delivery drones” by its substantially larger payload capacity, and from “air taxi” vehicles by its long-range operation, unmanned / unpiloted flight, and autonomous cargo loading/unloading. Elroy Air’s patented autonomous cargo-handling systems enable rapid, efficient, safe operations of the Chaparral system — a unique capability that the company is the first to bring to aerial logistics.
The future impact of the cutting-edge Chaparral vehicle is dramatically expanded express capabilities and service areas for multinational parcel shippers, immediate humanitarian aid and relief in disaster and fire-fighting situations, flexible logistics for the energy and mining industries, and rapid autonomous aerial resupply for US and allied troops in the field.
“This funding propels us into an exciting new stage of our business,” said David Merrill, CEO of Elroy Air. “We’re going to complete the build of full-capability pre-production aircraft, advance our certification programs, secure key supply chain partnerships, and enter into flight-test operations in collaboration with our partners at the Naval Postgraduate School and the US Air Force. It’s going to be an amazing next phase!”