YC’s latest moonshot bet is a startup building a $380k ‘flying motorcycle’

TechCrunch | 3/7/2019 | Staff
AnnieFoxx (Posted by) Level 3
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David Mayman has a vision for personal aviation that he’s spent the past dozen years and millions of his personal fortune chasing. He hasn’t accepted the convention that jetpacks were just a misguided fantasy for the future; his company, Jetpack Aviation, has been building them and he’s been zooming around in publicity-grabbing stunts in a plea to the public that there’s room to dream when it comes to human flight.

And while an eight-person startup aiming to build out a fleet of $380,000 “flying motorcycles” might seem like a tall order, Y Combinator, a top accelerator known for its occasionally bizarre bets, is gambling on the company and its jet engine-obsessed CEO in one of its latest investments.

Jetpack - Aviation - Company - Startup - Pre-orders

Jetpack Aviation is about to become a very different company. The startup has launched pre-orders this week for the moonshot of moonshots, the Speeder, a personal vertical take-off and landing vehicle with a svelte concept design that looks straight out of Star Wars or Halo.

Deep-pocketed, sci-fi-minded buyers are going to have to fork over $10,000 just to get a spot in the pre-order line for the first vehicles to ship, but the startup’s founder seems to see the campaign as less about the money than it is about the confirmation that there are people interested in planting a stake in his wild company’s future success.

Validation - Statement - Mayman - TechCrunch - Tesla

“I think it’s a validation statement for all of us,” Mayman tells TechCrunch.”If you look at how long Tesla took to deliver the Model 3 to customers, I think people understand that this is not something that’s a Kickstarted pre-delivery campaign where at the tail-end of it we’re immediately going to be delivering product.”

There are gambles and then there are flying motorcycles. This is frankly an atypical startup for YC to fund, but it is also an unconventional business path...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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