We are pleased to announce that Boom recently raised $33M in Series A funding. The round included 8VC, Caffeinated Capital, Palm Drive Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, as well as several angel investors. This brings our total funding to $41M — enough capital for us to finish building the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, execute our flight test program, and set a new speed record for civil aircraft. This is a key step on our mission to make Earth’s places and people more accessible.
As part of this round, Y Combinator President Sam Altman and investor/entrepreneur Greg McAdoo are joining Boom’s board of directors.
Taking a step back, why would one found a company to build a commercial airliner? This is a space that is technologically challenging, heavily regulated, and capitally intensive. It’s dominated by two conglomerates, and there has been no successful startup in commercial aircraft in 95 years.
Building a supersonic airplane is not easy — but it is important. As we celebrate this milestone on our journey toward a supersonic renaissance, I’d like to share what motivates us at Boom: while we love the hard engineering and technical challenges, what really drives us is the enormous human benefit of faster travel.
The best way to grok the supersonic future is to look back at what happened the last time we had a big speedup, back to the dawn of the jet age in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Prior to the jet age, flights from the US West coast to Hawaii stretched 15–16 hours. Consequently, few went, and “Hawaii vacation” wasn’t really a thing.
Jets meant Hawaii was 5–6 hours away instead of 15–16. In the first 10 years, travel to Hawaii went up 6-fold. Resorts and golf courses were built. Entrepreneurs provided visitors with adventures like scuba diving, boat tours, and gourmet restaurants. Millions of visitors found relaxation and natural beauty previously impractical to enjoy.
The jets also made it viable to do routine business across oceans. Nike got its start in 1964 importing Japanese athletic shoes to American audiences. Before jets, visiting Tokyo would have meant days island hopping on a Pan Am Clipper — and there was only one flight each week! No jets, most likely no Nike shoes.
But the jets didn’t just change where you could go, it also changed what could come to you. The Beatles conducted the first world tour in 1964. Thanks to jets, music could be global. Jet planes brought music, entertainment, and world leaders to the world’s cities.
The supersonic future will bring similar benefits. Imagine traveling across the Atlantic, getting business done, and being home to tuck your children into bed. Or saving two whole days of a typical round-trip itinerary to Asia. What happens when Sydney and Auckland are as accessible as Honolulu?
When time is no longer a limit, where will you vacation? Where will you do business? Will you fall in love with someone from another continent? And how much more time will you have at home with the people who matter.
— From the desk of Blake Scholl (CEO/Founder)
We made a video that expresses our vision of a supersonic future.