A €3.7 million fundraising for HyLight, the hydrogen airship

HyLight hydrogen airship
€3.7 million in funds for HyLight hydrogen airships

Backed by one of the co-founders of Tesla, the start-up has managed to convince investors. HyLight will be able to develop hydrogen airships on an industrial scale to explore infrastructures in zero-emissions fashion.

The funds were raised from venture capital funds and business angels, including Combinator, Ring Capital, Kima Ventures and Collaborative Fund. Marc Tarpenning, Tesla’s co-founder, also brings his expertise to the team. Another contributor from Elon Musk’s circle is former SpaceX launch director Abhishek Tripathi, who is one of the high-level mentors. Founded in 2022, the start-up has also won the trust of accelerators including Skydeck at UC Berkeley, France 2030 and partners such as Enedis, with which it is currently working on a project.

HyLight‘s originality comes from offering an alternative to helicopters and drones for monitoring energy infrastructures. Worldwide, there are no less than 80 million km of power lines, gas pipes and other pipelines. A hydrogen-powered airship can fly over so many critical sites without noise or pollution. The aircraft is equipped with HD cameras and sensors to detect gas leaks, for example.

The “HyLighter” is a cross between drone and airship technology. Like a drone, it is easy to control and transport. And, like an airship, it is extremely stable and energy-efficient, enabling it to fly for up to 10 hours, covering a distance of 350 km and with a 35 km/h flight speed.

Thanks to the fundraising, HyLight, which is based at Brétigny-sur-Orge air base (Essonne, south of Paris), will be able to recruit and carry out its first large-scale operations. The team also intends to expand its scope to include surveillance of forests, coastlines and farmlands.

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About the author

Picture of Laurent Meillaud

Laurent Meillaud

Freelance automotive journalist and consultant, author as well, focused on technologies and new trends for more than 30 years, convinced that hydrogen is one of the energies for the future.

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