Vertical gets $50m cash injection from CEO
Vertical Aerospace CEO, founder and majority owner Stephen Fitzpatrick has invested a further $50m into the aerospace startup.
Vertical’s share price performance is not reflective of the technical progress the company is making in development of its aircraft, argued Fitzpatrick (pictured above left). “The company has achieved significant technical progress both in its prototype programme and its certification plans in 2023, that I believe is not reflected in our share price,” he said.
The share price, which traded above $12 for a short time after listing in late 2021, has been decimated in recent months reaching lows of less than a dollar on numerous occasions. The low price also resulted in a Continued Listing Standard Notice issued by the NYSE in late November. The notice warns that Vertical could be delisted if its share price doesn’t return above $1 on average. Vertical has a six month cure period to resolve this, and it said it intends to regain compliance.
“Given the success I have seen in the past 12 months, I am more confident than ever in our world class team, and I am delighted to further support the company with additional funding,” added Fitzpatrick. “Since founding Vertical in 2016 I have continued to believe in the enormous potential the company has to pioneer zero carbon aviation.”
According to Vertical, the cash provides the platform for further funding rounds. It also supports development of the certification aircraft design following prototype testing. The firm is nearing completion of its second generation, full-scale piloted VX4 prototype.
The aircraft will conduct a series of key public flight demonstrations in 2024, these include plans to fly at Farnborough International Airshow and shuttles to and from Heathrow Airport, although specifics have not been made public.
The investment also extends Vertical’s projected cash runway into Q2 2025, it said. After analysis of the financials which run up to third-quarter 2023, the $50m injection will give Vertical about half a year in extra cash runway with an average cash burn rate of $28m per quarter.
Meanwhile, there may also be uncertainty for Vertical over the future with Roll-Royce Electric. The electric division of the engine giant was put up for sale late last year, amid a streamlining by CEO Tufan Erginbilgic. Vertical’s first and flagship commercial agreement was with Rolls-Royce, and it was through the firm’s electric division that Verticals electric power system would be developed and built. According to Revolution.Aero sources a buyer has now been found, however that deal is yet to be announced.