Aura secures $75m funding for AAM network
Aura Network Systems has closed $75m in funding to continue work on its proprietary network designed to enable remotely piloted commercial flights beyond visual line of sight.
Fortress Investment Group invested $55m and $20m came from previous investors Mudrick Capital Management and Tracker Capital Management. Aura’s Command and Control Communication Service Provider (C2CSP) network was exhibited during the recent National AAM Industry Forum in Springfield, Ohio. Demos involved aircraft outfitted with an AURA airborne radio and voice comms module.
Aura, CEO Bill Tolpegin said: “The financing enables Aura to continue our core development work while providing us with the financial runway to launch commercial services. Our entire team is grateful for the confidence of all our investors and partners as we continue to grow our role in the groundbreaking journey to transform transportation by ultimately delivering C2-communications capabilities in a regulatory-compliant network specifically designed for aviation.”
A specialist in spectrum-based investments, Fortress’ managing partner, Drew McKnight said the firm has followed Aura closely since its founding. “We are confident that AURA will emerge as a critical innovator and service provider across a full range of crewed and uncrewed aircraft applications, including emerging markets for autonomous air cargo and urban air mobility that together are projected to capture nearly $150bn in annual spending within the next 15 years.”
Since founding Aura has completed a four-year cooperative R&D agreement with the FAA and two Space Act agreements with the NASA.
Last July, AURA raised $30.9m in an equity financing, including $30m from Mudrick Capital Management and Tracker Capital Management, as well as nearly $1m from company management. The company’s initial financing totalled $7.5m.