When you’re a five-year-old company looking to fund the next stage of your hypersonic drilling operation, you’re likely going to turn to venture capital firms to grease the wheels.
Not HyperSciences. The Austin-based hypervelocity company instead chose to crowdfund a total of $9.6 million from more than 3,552 investors around the world.
The company used crowdfunding platform SeedInvest to perform what the SEC calls a Reg A funding. This relatively new type of funding allows companies to crowdfund investments in exchange for equity.
Due to the strict buyer protections, many larger companies have steered away from the fundraising option, but according to a recent interview with TechCrunch, HyperSciences sees it as an opportunity to raise funding from people who believe in what they’re working toward.
“Reg A lets everyone who cares about our planned hypersonic future vote with their checkbook. I think that’s important,” CEO Mark Russell told TechCrunch.
Russell, whose background includes growing up amidst a family-owned and operated mining company, founded HyperSciences in 2014. At the core of the company’s vision a patented hypersonic propulsion system. The system, which can fire projectiles at five times the speed of sound, has applications ranging from space launches to drilling to harness geothermal energy.
The latter has been heralded as a quick and affordable solution to clean, renewable energy sources across the country, and has attracted the attention of major players in the space. In addition to this latest funding, HyperSciences has also received $125,000 from NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research grant as well as a $1 million investment from Shell’s Global’s GameChanger program.
Next month, HyperSciences will perform a field test of its latest drilling technology for Shell. The $9.6 million funding round will be used to fund future field tests of its HyperDrill and HyperDrone technologies.