Regent, a company developing electric seagliders, has secured a strategic investment from Japan Airlines Innovation Fund, to help usher in a new era of safe and sustainable coastal transportation.
Regent sees the investment as a first step in the exploration of incorporating seagliders into JAL’s global network and highlights its commitment to sustainable transportation. With the investment, Regent is believed to have raised over $45 million to date.
Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of Regent, said: “This strategic investment speaks to the growing adoption of seaglider technology by major airlines. At REGENT, we’re at the helm of ushering in a completely new era in sustainable transportation, and JAL Innovation Fund’s investment gives us the resources and support that we need to unveil an innovative approach for regional travel at lower costs, faster speeds, and zero emissions.”
Seagliders are a new mode of transportation that combines the high speed of an airplane with the low operating cost of a boat. The all-electric, zero-emission vessels operate over the water and leverage existing dock infrastructure to carry people and goods up to 180 miles between coastal destinations. Regent is believed to have sold over 400 seagliders to date, to global aviation and ferry customers including Mokulele Airlines, Southern Airways Express, FRS (Germany), and Ocean Flyer (New Zealand). With more than $7.5 billion in orders from commercial operating partners around the world, Regent aims for its 12-passenger seaglider, Viceroy, to enter service by mid-decade.
Yasushi Noda, Executive Officer, Senior Vice President, Digital Innovation at Japan Airlines, commented: “We are very pleased to make this investment in REGENT from our CVC, JAL Innovation Fund. We believe seagliders are a safe, sustainable, and economical solution and we are excited to work with REGENT to assess demand not only in Japan but around the world. We are delighted to add seagliders to JAL’s list of new challenges and are honored to work with REGENT to explore the possibilities of seagliders.”
In addition, Regent and JAL are working together to explore opportunities for ecosystem development, bringing together relevant stakeholders to deliver the benefits of seagliders to new and underserved markets. Regent’s investors to date include Thiel Capital, Y Combinator, Founders Fund, and Mark Cuban.