HyLight raises €3.7M to decarbonise aerial inspection with hydrogen airship drone

HyLight, an innovator in aerial inspection with its hydrogen airship drones, has successfully raised €3.7 million from venture capitalists and business angels, including Y Combinator, Ring Capital, Kima Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Tesla co-founder Marc Tarpenning. This funding aims to revolutionise aerial inspection by decarbonising the process.

The investment will enable this French standout of Y Combinator to scale up the deployment of its innovative airship drones, offering the first zero-emission solution capable of inspecting various infrastructures, such as power lines, gas pipelines, and railways. HyLight's technology promises a cost-effective, efficient, and eco-friendly alternative for industries requiring aerial data collection.

Globally, there are 80 million kilometers of energy infrastructure, vital for societal functioning and requiring regular inspections to maintain and prevent failures. Traditional methods have been either expensive and polluting, imprecise, or limited in flight duration. HyLight’s hydrogen-powered airship, dubbed the HyLighter, merges drone agility with airship stability and efficiency, providing up to 10 hours of flight over 350 km at speeds of 35 km/h, equipped with advanced sensors and cameras for high precision.

HyLight’s affiliation with Y Combinator and participation in prestigious accelerators like SkyDeck at the University of California, Berkeley, and several top French programs underscores the credibility and potential of its technology. Supported by industry leaders and involved in significant projects like with Enedis, Europe’s largest power line operator, HyLight is set to expand its operational capabilities and strategic partnerships significantly.

The €3.7 million funding will also facilitate the recruitment of new experts across various domains essential for HyLight's growth and the development of new airship drone versions that comply with the strictest international aeronautical and industrial standards. These advancements will enable HyLight to meet increasing global demand and enhance service to its customers and partners worldwide.

According to Martin Bocken, CEO of HyLight, "This round of financing is a decisive milestone for HyLight. It allows us to realise our vision of providing large-scale infrastructure inspection in a decarbonised and highly precise manner. With the support of our investors, we are ready to redefine the standards of industrial inspection and meet growing environmental and regulatory requirements."

Myriam Maestroni, President and Founder of e5t, adds, "I am delighted to support HyLight in its ambition to revolutionise aerial inspection with its hydrogen-powered airship. This innovative technology provides a decarbonised and efficient solution to meet the growing needs of the energy, transportation, and infrastructure sectors. We are confident that HyLight is well positioned to become a global leader in this rapidly expanding field."

"We are pleased to support HyLight Aero, which, with its airship, contributes to the decarbonisation of aerial inspection by improving the detection of faulty components and methane leaks that are responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions," says Gaspard Martin, Investor at the Générations fund powered by EDHEC from Ring Capital.

"We were immediately drawn to HyLight Aero's product and the strong conviction of Thomas, Josef, and Martin. Their airship, which we visited at their site at base 217 in Brétigny, is a very impressive patented innovation, but more importantly, it is an effective ecological alternative that replaces helicopters, which are much more expensive and polluting. We are very proud to participate in the decarbonisation of aerial inspection through this investment," says Sibylle Behaghel, Investor at the Générations fund powered by EDHEC from Ring Capital.

In the near future, the HyLighter will be useful in other sectors as well. It will be able to observe hundreds of hectares of European forests and help understand the new diseases affecting them. It will analyse changes in sea level by effectively observing the coastline. It will help understand the growing water stress affecting our farmland, so that we can target our efforts in the right places. The HyLighter will enable us to better observe and understand the world in the light of climate change.