Blackbird Bets Millions on Aquila to Transform Energy

Aquila raises its first round to transform energy by building and operating a wireless energy network.
May 17, 2023
Billy Jeremijenko

Today, Aquila announces our first A$3M capital raise, an investment led by Blackbird, with participation from Icehouse and Possible. Aquila is a young company — on an infinite journey to power the future.

As part of this announcement, we want to share our story and vision for a brighter future, a future this seed investment will help us drive towards.

An Insane Challenge

Over the coming decades, humanity must undertake an unprecedented energy transformation.

In Australia alone, the energy grid will have to scale 3x in the next 10 years to distribute renewables. Meanwhile, we're transitioning to electricity dependence as the global transformation accelerates: electric stoves, electric cars, electric aviation, electric everything—all powered by renewables.

Globally, we're tackling climate challenges head-on and racing against the clock by building renewables at an unprecedented rate. But, if our distribution system cannot clear the way for the dynamic, electrified future we want, we'll never reach the finish line.

Current pole and line distribution methods have a few limitations:

  • Transmission lines take a long time to build.
  • They are static — excellent at transporting energy between fixed locations but not purposed for a dynamic, electric world.
  • Huge upfront costs can limit energy accessibility in hard-to-reach areas.

How do we address this challenge?

Aquila aims to build and operate a dynamic, light-based energy network that can extend and improve the capabilities of our energy distribution infrastructure.

By beaming energy with our lighthouse modules, redirecting it with mirrors, and capturing it with specialised solar panels, we can rapidly create transmission pathways and shift renewable energy worldwide, accelerating their uptake.

There is enough energy out there; the problem is distribution.

How do we get there?

Our long-term vision is a globe-spanning energy network consisting of thousands of optical relay satellites directing gigawatts of power worldwide, each moving at kilometres a second relative to one another.

Our $3M in seed funding will not get us there. Still, it will allow us to prove it is possible to operate optical energy networks at scale, laying the foundations for our future network.

What problems are we solving first?

For now, we're focusing on creating light-based energy networking products to serve small drone operators — getting the testing hours on the ground to prove we can do it safely and effectively.

Supplying power continuously to drones in-flight could unlock infinite possibilities for environmental monitoring, electric mobility and transportation of vital supplies at scale, across enormous distances, and much more.

Using uncrewed air mobility as a foundation, we can iteratively scale our transmission speed, power and distance to serve more extensive opportunities and drive towards the Internet of Energy.

We're building an ecosystem around us of electric vehicle builders, integrators, energy providers, and transmission operators to help accelerate the electrification transformation.

And we're hiring exceptional talent worldwide. People with the potential to be world-class. People who can drive us forward in our mission.

If any of this sounds like you, or if you can help us in any way, please connect! Contact me on LinkedIn or Twitter, or send us your details on our website — we’d love to learn more :)

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