We have a new acronym to add to the list: eVTOLs, UAM, AAM, and now — courtesy of the U.S. Air Force — ORBs. Not only do we have hundreds of vehicle designs competing for the urban air mobility market; we also have organizations vying for the best way to define them.The Agility Prime kickoff week, still ongoing, is certainly an impressive show of support for the industry. How big an impact will it make: on investor confidence, on speed of certification and deployment, and on U.S. presence/supply chain in eVTOLs 10 years from now?
Chris Timchak from Stone Point Capital, a financial services-focused private equity firm that has invested in Beta Technologies, gave an interesting market overview and answer to this question:
“I think we are concerned that there will be a ton of competition, and the corollary that we spend time thinking about is the auto industry at the start of the 20th century and how much companies exist today versus how many started back then from a manufacturing and design component. To mitigate that a bit, we think the market is big enough and there will be multiple participants and many successful designs, but the infrastructure is important to the entire ecosystem.”
“Our view is we think some of those medical, cargo, military applications are likely going to be executed faster than passenger applications due to certification and other processes. Public-private partnerships are going to important, and this event in particular, and the Air Force’s interest in trying to lead here is a great step in this direction.”
“From an investment perspective, one very quick way to de-risk potential investments is with contracts and commitments from well-funded, high-credit quality capital partners.”
Let me know your thoughts.
As always, stay healthy and safe vertical flying,