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Electric aircraft maker Beta raises $368 million in funding backed by Fidelity, Amazon

By Reuters

(Reuters) – Electric aircraft company Beta Technologies said on Tuesday it had raised $368 million in a private funding round, led by Fidelity Management and backed by Amazon’s climate-focused venture capital fund.

The Vermont-based startup said proceeds will be used to refine its electric propulsion systems and controls as well as the construction of manufacturing facilities.

“We support BETA Technologies’ mission to reshape air transportation through zero-emission aviation,” said Kara Hurst, head of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon.

The company, which develops electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, said Goldman Sachs & Co acted as exclusive placement agent in connection with the oversubscribed capital raise.

Beta competes with startups, including Joby Aviation, Lilium and Volocopter. Joby, which makes electric air taxi, is going public in a $6.6 billion reverse merger with blank check company Reinvent Technology Partners.

U.S. package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc last month agreed to buy 10 electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft from Beta to speed up deliveries in small markets.

(Reporting by Shreyasee Raj in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)