Eniac is taking off with our investment in Xwing
We’re proud to announce that we’ve led their $4MM Seed Round.
At Eniac, we think broadly about the future of traditional industries that have yet to be fully technology enabled. Transportation is a sector we know is ripe for innovation and we’ve been thinking about the future of transportation across all major modes including ground, rail, sea, and air. We have bets in ground transport and are looking for more in other modes. We believe electrification and autonomy will come to air just as is happening with ground transport. The aviation industry has its own set of structural challenges and opportunities that will make truly autonomous aviation a near to mid-term reality. Electrification itself is further behind but we believe it will also happen.
The aviation industry is undergoing a seismic shift which makes our investment in Xwing ripe to exploit these. First, there is a major shortage of pilots and this is compounded by regulations that require pilots to take longer rest periods for safety reasons. Labor counts for a significant component of costs and that labor is underutilized. The aviation industry has had autopilot before self-driving cars and pilots only actually fly aircraft less than 20% of the time.
Structurally, commercial aviation is controlled by the airlines and large aircraft manufacturers. Major initiatives are being undertaken by the aircraft manufacturers to invest in eVTOLs (electric take-off and landing vehicles), short-haul electrification for cargo and human transport and more. The aircraft industry is fairly forward thinking as they partner with avionics providers and others but achieving the holy grail of true autonomous flight is out of their purview. We will be living in a world of electric flying cars and fleets of autonomous electric airplanes for medium and long-haul aircraft sooner than we know.
In our quest to find an investment in the space, we met with countless bold founders pursuing electrification, autonomy, and services all with very unique approaches.
Enter Xwing — while the company was a bit further along than our typical seed when we first learned about the opportunity from Marc and met the team we knew this was the right bet for us to make., Marc is a successful founder with a methodical game plan and a big vision. He recruited Maxime as CTO who is a seasoned mastermind in the avionics space. Together they built an incredible team of engineers and practitioners with backgrounds in avionics, computer vision, machine learning, robotics and more.
We knew this was the best team to win in this market and Marc’s plan to build a healthy company through early partnerships, brand and his long-term vision resonated with us. When we partner with hard tech startups, we gravitate those with a big vision but execute towards building a healthy long-term sustainable enterprise as its easy to get caught in the sexy trap of hard tech.
The tech platform, the team they have assembled and the early market traction made it a no-brainer for us to lead Xwing’s seed round. We are super excited to partner with Marc, Maxime, and team to build the next generation aviation platform that creates the magic leap needed to bring emerging eVTOLS and traditional aviation to its natural place for full autonomy while giving consumers a safe, convenient and fast way to travel.
Check out their feature in TechCrunch!