Aerospace innovation catalyst Starburst Accelerator and Singapore-based fund manager Leonie Hill Capital have teamed up to launch the first global venture fund dedicated to aviation startups.
With a corpus of $200 million, Starburst Venture will invest in early and growth stage, deep tech startups globally in this field within three years.
It expects to launch operations and start investing as early as the first quarter of 2017, says a joint statement on November 29.
Three general partners have been selected to manage the fund including Francois Chopard, founder of Starburst Accelerator, and Leonie Hill Capital.
The investment team will be mainly based in San Francisco but Starburst Venture will leverage Starburst Accelerator’s four existing operations, located in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich and Singapore, which have already demonstrated a consistent deal flow for the first round of investment. The Singapore-based operation has just been set up this year.
The accelerator is supported by over 30 aerospace corporate partners around the world, and has incubated more than 100 startups in new space, future aviation including flying car and supersonic jets, passenger experience, connectivity, cabin, more electric aircraft, drone technology, simulation, artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing, sensors, nano tech, new materials, data analytics and cyber security.
“This funding is indicative of the underlying strength of Starburst Accelerator, a well-managed and operationally strong company that has already achieved a great deal and is now well positioned to enable startups future growth to the Aerospace industry,” said Arun Kant, CEO of Leonie Hill Capital.
He believes the first-of-its-kind structure of Starburst Accelerator will form a new trend of venture funding.
“As we move into this next phase of expansion, we look forward to continuing to work with our highly valued portfolio of companies and industry leaders to usher in the next generation of aerospace,” said Chopard.
Future invested companies by Starburst Venture will get support in recruitment and talent management, building strategic relationships, as well as expertise in operations, marketing and communications. They will also benefit from the Starburst partners including Thales, Panasonic Avionics, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Gruman, Safran, GE Aviation, Eutelsat, Paris Airport, Air France KLM, added Chopard.