Destinus raises CHF 26.8 million for its development

The Vaud-based aerospace company Destinus, a world pioneer in very high altitude cargo transport, announces a seed fundraising of CHF 26.8 million (USD 29 million) from several international funds. Based at the Swiss Aeropole in Payerne, Destinus has grown from 30 to 50 employees in just a few months and is preparing to launch its first supersonic flight powered by a hydrogen engine in the next 12 to 18 months. It also plans to create around a hundred jobs in 2022. Supported by Innovaud during its establishment in 2021, Destinus is a flagship company that will position the canton of Vaud and Switzerland even further on the map of the aerospace industry.

Various venture funds and family offices from Europe, Northern America, Latin America, and Asia participated in the financing round. Conny & Co, Quiet Capital, One Way Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, Cathexis Ventures, ACE & Company, and several others are among them. Leading Swiss law firm Walder Wyss acted as legal advisor on the transaction.

Founder and CEO Mikhail Kokorich said: "We are excited about the broad support of our company. We plan to use the funding to continue the development of our hydrogen airbreathing and rocket engines and test the first supersonic flights powered by hydrogen engines in the next 12-18 months. We have already made significant progress and have designed and filed patents for the unique subsystems, such as a hydrogen active cooling system, enabling a highly reusable hyperplane flying at almost the speed of a rocket".

Two personalities join Destinus
Dr. Cornelius (Conny) Boersch, the founder of Conny & Co. and Mountain Partners, joined the Destinus board. Conny has more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, investor, and founder of numerous technology companies. With more than 400 investments, he is considered one of the most active and well-recognized business angels in Europe and was named European Business Angel of the Year in 2009. As a certified Super Angel, the European Investment Fund (EIF) matches his investments 1:1. Conny founded several successful RFID-related technology companies, including ACG (IPO in 2000), Smartrac (IPO in 2006), and Identiv (NASDAQ-listed since 2006).

Conny Boersch commented on the seed round: “I was an investor in Mikhail’s previous company, and his development pace is incomparable. The team began flight testing with a prototype less than six months after the company’s foundation. In addition to his technical and engineering experience, Mikhail is also one of the most organized and structured founders I have ever met.”

Destinus’ chairman of the Advisory Board, the former minister of Economics and Technology, and the vice- chancellor of Germany, a passionate pilot, Philipp Rösler, noted: “It is breathtaking to see a future in which travel anywhere in the world in 1-2 hours will be available. Most importantly, the hyperplane under development will use liquid hydrogen to fuel its engines. That gives the great opportunity to fly fast and at the same time be carbon neutral. The only emission of such engines is water. I am excited that companies like Destinus will be able to provide European leadership in the aerospace sector.”

About Destinus

Destinus is headquartered in Canton Vaud, Switzerland, and has offices and facilities in Munich, Madrid, and Toulouse. The company has a team of more than 50 motivated and qualified engineers and managers from Arianespace, Boeing, Airbus, ESA, DLR, Dassault Aviation, Rolls-Royse, Safran, and other aerospace companies. The company plans to grow up to 100 people in 2022 to complete an extensive R&D and flight program.

Destinus’ vision is a world where distance doesn’t exist. The mission is to build near-space vehicles and infrastructure to power the world’s fastest and cleanest transportation network. Destinus is developing a hypersonic hydrogen-powered vehicle capable of moving cargo between continents in less than 2 hours. This vehicle, the hyperplane, is a hybrid between an airplane and a rocket. It will take off and land horizontally from airports using a hydrogen-fed airbreathing jet engine integrating seamlessly with other planes when it passes controlled airspace. Once a certain altitude and speed are reached, the hyperplane will switch to a cryogenic hydrogen rocket engine that will accelerate the aircraft to hypersonic velocity.








Technology reviews

Why did Destinus choose Switzerland as a location of the company (extract from an article by BILANZ)?

«Mikhail Kokorich already knew Switzerland from previous visits, but the decisive factors in his choice of location were cultural proximity, access to highly qualified employees, quality of life, central location and political security: "There aren't many places where I can realize my dream," he says.»