Most of the companies presenting today at VC in the Rockies fall under the typical venture binary of information technology or life sciences. But there are a few notable exceptions, including the terrifying and thrilling Adam Aircraft.
Terrifying because very few VCs really understand the aerospace industry. Thrilling because… Well because they make frickin’ jets (but no laser beams, yet).
More specifically, Englewood, Colo.-based Adam makes twin-piston and jet airplanes out of carbon composite materials (most everyone else uses aluminum). It has raised $182 million in total VC funding, with Goldman Sachs as its primary investor. The most recent round was a $93 million Series D round led by DCM-Doll Capital Management. Other participants included Mesirow Financial, W Capital Partners, D.E.Shaw Laminar Portfolios, Acadia Woods Partners, Hunt Growth Capital and Goldman.
Now the company is nearing between $100 million and $125 million in new funding led by a Wall Street investment bank, according to Adam CFO Chris Naro. It will be debt with warrants, and Naro says that the company and its I-bank sponsor (name not discosed) is currently seeking syndication partners. Naro adds that the company will hit cashflow break-even with about an additional $80 million — and also that the company has an order backlog of over 460 planes.
Best part of Naro’s presentation? When he compared an Adam $2.25 per plane pricetag with a $1.7 million Eclipse pricetag, Naro said: “If you can afford $1.7m for a plane, you can afford $2.25m.” But then, during Q&A, someone asked about a pending plane from Honda. When Naro responded that the plane will likely cost $4m, an audience member shouted out: “If you can afford $2.25m, you can afford $4m…”