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Kite Magnetics raises $1.85 million in seed funding

Researcher-led startup Kite Magnetics has announced a $1.85 million seed round led by Investible Climate Tech fund to develop a new generation of smaller, lighter and more efficient electric motors. The Melbourne company is developing high-performance electric motors and inverters specifically for the emerging sustainable aviation sector.

Kite Magnetics electric motors will use a new magnetic material called Aeroperm™ that was co-invented at Monash University by founder and CEO Dr Richard Parsons and Professor Kiyonori Suzuki.

Additional investors in the oversubscribed round included Breakthrough Victoria, Galileo and Possible Ventures.

Kite Magnetics represents the first investment in an early-stage company by Breakthrough Victoria, the Victorian Government’s new $2 billion investment fund which is focusing on five priority sectors including digital technologies and advanced manufacturing.

The funding will be used to design, build, test and fly electric motors for small two-seat electric aircraft such as those already being used to train new pilots across the world, including right here in Australia.

Kite Magnetics is seeking to build electric motors for aircraft of all sizes, including those that will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and flying regional routes in the coming years and intends to become a dominant player in the emerging aviation electric propulsion sector.

It is currently building an electric motor test facility in Clayton and intends to fly its first electric motor on a crewed aircraft as soon as next year.

Kite Magnetics founder and CEO Dr Richard Parsons said “Aeroperm’s amazing nanocrystalline microstructure means it has an energy loss one-tenth that of existing magnetic core materials used in today’s electric motors, allowing us to design what we believe will be the world’s highest performance electric motors and generators.

“Our electric motors will enable electric aircraft of all sizes to fly further and carry more, reducing the costs to operate them and enabling sustainably powered aircraft to fly more routes sooner,” Parsons explained.

Patrick Sieb, co-head of Climate Tech, Investible said the aviation sector is in desperate need of decarbonisation technology. “Richard’s unique blend of entrepreneurial grit and a strong technical background uniquely positions him and the Kite team to transform the industry and produce the world’s highest-performance electric motors.”

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