UK-based e-Go aeroplanes snags funding

E-Go aeroplanes has secured 950,000 pounds in funding. The investors include Angel CoFund, Marshall of Cambridge and backers via the crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom. Based in the UK, e-Go aeroplanes is a maker of lightweight carbon fiber aeroplanes.

PRESS RELEASE

e-Go aeroplanes Limited, the UK’s first ever manufacturer of lightweight carbon fibre aeroplanes, has raised a second round of finance. Having set a target of between £650k to £800k, the Company has surpassed this and raised in excess of £950k. This latest funding round follows the e-Go prototype’s first successful flight on 17th October 2013.
In recognition of their confidence in the Cambridge-based company, all existing investors are contributing again – all keen to continue supporting the company’s development and expansion. In addition, a number of new supporters have invested, both directly and through the crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom. The high-profile Government-backed Angel CoFund is also making a significant investment.
Twenty investors backed e-Go aeroplane’s launch in 2011, among them UK aerospace leader Marshall of Cambridge. Now a further sixty investors have joined the group, including a number of business angels, the Company’s chief test pilot and first British astronaut, Michael Foale.
Flight trials and ground testing of the e-Go prototype continues and first customer deliveries are planned for quarter one 2015 – at a sales cost of around £50,000 + VAT.
The basis of the e-Go design philosophy is the packaging of leading-edge aeronautical engineering with proven technology, taking successful elements from non-aviation industries. For example, the design’s airframe benefits from techniques used in Formula One race cars, while the avionics, datalogging and engine management are inspired by the technology used in today’s road cars.
“The e-Go ethos is to do a lot with a little and that will remain our guiding principle,” said Malcolm Bird, e-Go’s executive chairman. “The UK is unique in offering such a supportive deregulated environment for aircraft of this type; so new investors can look forward to an exciting time in helping bring to market a design that is innovative, striking in appearance, fun to fly and will cut dramatically the cost of personal flying.”
Tim Mills, Investment Director at the Angel CoFund, commented: “e-Go are exactly the type of exciting, innovative British business we look to invest in. Their prototype flight last year was the first to be undertaken by a new UK aircraft manufacturer in years. The team have an exciting proposition and we look forward to supporting them.”
About e-Go aeroplanes – www.e-go.me
Operating to the north of Cambridge, e-Go aeroplanes is creating the striking, new, very lightweight e-Go aircraft. It will cost dramatically less to fly than traditional aircraft and is a product for discerning pilots who relish new experiences. It uses novel technologies for performance yet achieves a low cost of development and operation by exploiting the newly deregulated environment in the UK. Interest in the product is high and the first deposits for aircraft that will be delivered in 2015 have been received.
About SyndicateRoom – www.syndicateroom.com
SyndicateRoom is an online equity crowd-funding platform, giving members access to investing opportunities in start-ups that are backed by some of the UKs leading Business Angel investors. What is more, as investors on SyndicateRoom, members enjoy the same economic rights as the Business Angels so if the Angels make money, so do they. SyndicateRoom was founded by Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, Yutaro Kojima and Tom Britton. SyndicateRoom is a member of the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
About Angel CoFund – www.angelcofund.co.uk
Launched in 2011, the Angel CoFund is a privately run fund that works alongside groups of business angels to invest in high growth small and medium sized businesses across the UK, directly providing funding as well as encouraging the expansion of the business angel market.
Backed by the British Business Bank and the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, the £100m Angel CoFund is able to make initial investments of between £100,000 and £1 million into businesses, alongside syndicates of business angels.
To date the fund has supported more than 42 companies (for example Yplan, PlayJam, BaseKit and Micrima) providing over £17 million in direct investment alongside £76 million from business angels and other investors.
Notes for editors:
The single-seat e-Go design has evolved from that which won the high-tech category of a competition run in 2007 by the Light Aircraft Association to encourage innovation after the Civil Aviation Authority deregulated the very light end of general aviation aircraft building.
Deregulation by the CAA has meant that for aircraft below 115kg empty weight aircraft manufacturers are exempt from conventional certification processes and procedures.
Around 60 per cent of the UK’s estimated 60,000 pilots fly light aircraft for enjoyment. In the main, those aircraft have their roots in designs that are more than 40 years old and have become increasingly expensive to operate.
The 30 hp powerplant is an adaptation of the Wankel engine by Rotron for UAVs (unmanned air vehicles). Currently, e-Go has exclusive use of this engine for manned aircraft. All included, the engine weighs just 23kg and delivers 60 mpg from garage forecourt fuel.
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