Each week, Airport Technology’s editors select a deal that illustrates the themes driving change in our sector. The deal may not always be the largest in value or the highest profile. But we select it because of what it tells us about where the leading companies are focusing their efforts and why.

We pick apart the deal itself and the industry theme behind it. This new, thematic deal coverage is driven by our underlying Disruptor data which tracks all major deals, patents, company filings, hiring patterns and social media buzz across our sectors. 

Deal of the week

Aerospace start-up Electra Aero received investment from Statkraft Ventures, with funding to be applied to the company’s hybrid-electric ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft development.

Electra‘s eSTOL aircraft is designed for quiet, efficient and cost-effective flight operations from 150-foot runways, bringing air travel closer to local communities and linking previously underserved locations.

The amount of the deal was not disclosed. Since the formation of their VC fund in 2015, Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy, Stakraft Ventures have made NOK11bn ($1.08bn) worth of investments since 2021.

This investment enables Statkraft Ventures, one of the top VC funds in energy transition, to further its aims of sustainable mobility and decarbonisation by investing in developing emissions-reducing solutions.

This deal shows Statkraft Ventures’ experience in sustainable energy transition is being used to hasten the development and commercialisation of Electra’s nine-passenger production eSTOL aircraft.

Tristan Sauer, defense analyst at GlobalData, emphasised the growing market potential of the eSTOL sector through this investment.

“Statkraft Venture’s recent investment in eSTOL firm Electra.aero is illustrative of a wider trend within the sustainable aviation market in recent years, with startups and specialist firms within the electric VTOL/STOL markets garnering significant attention and investment worldwide.

“Major players in the transport market including Uber and United Airlines have begun investing within this sector due to their applications in future ‘urban air taxi’ markets, whilst defense institutions have also begun investing in this market segment due to the environmental and cost-saving benefits provided by the enhanced versatility of eVTOl/eSTOL platforms in a variety of logistical support roles.

“Indeed, the USAF has already invested $131m in Joby Aviation’s own eVTOL development program, further illustrating the growing market potential of firms such as Joby and Electra within both the civil and military aerospace markets.”