‘Iron Man’ start-up raises $650,000 in seed funding following billionaire backing

Tech start-up Gravity will use the funds to develop mark II of its flight suit, which uses gas turbine engines to propel the user and help them fly

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A UK tech start-up that has designed a real-life ‘Iron Man’ suit has raised $650,000 in a seed funding round, following an on-the-spot investment from US billionaires Tim and Adam Draper.

Investor and venture capitalist Tim was an early backer of Skype, Baidu Inc., and Tesla, while his son Adam is CEO of Boost VC – which focuses on future tech.

Using four arm-mounted gas turbine engines and two hip-mounted gas turbine engines, the flight suit provides enough energy to enable a person capable of holding their body weight for long periods of time to fly – and is likened to the suit fictional Marvel superhero Iron Man uses.

Gravity will use the funds to develop mark II of its flight suit and has already filed patents of its technology.

Launched this year, Gravity, which featured in our Just Started profile last May, is co-founded by Richard Browning.

Browning vision is create an entirely new form of flight system that he hopes will change the commercial, aviation and entertainment sectors.

Spending five years as a Royal Marines reserve, on top on a 15 year career as a City commodity trader, Browing initially raised funds via the SEIS scheme.

With regards its business model, Gravity has five main commercial pillars – including brand sponsorship and advertising, flights for private and public events, selling the suit as a whole to consumers, developing a military version of the tech, and developing variants of the suit.

Browning said:

“The response to our launch was phenomenal. We’ve been asked to talk and demonstrate at events around the world, and this investment, made as the engines were still cooling in the demo area, is further proof of our ability to disrupt the aviation industry and create a new category in human aviation.

“We have huge commercial and technical developmental plans already underway for Gravity and to have the backing of one of the most legendary VCs in the business is a demonstration of the impact we are having just three months in.”

Draper said:

“When we first heard about what Gravity is doing, we were blown away. I guarantee you have never seen a human fly the way Richard can fly and we are delighted to be joining him and the team at Gravity to push the boundaries of human flight. The innovation and technology at play in the flight suit is incredible and we’re excited about future applications.”

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