You’re a bored former finance guy who decides one day to strap on some micro-jet engines and see if you can become Iron Man. Hey it happens all the time. Or maybe not. But that’s what British entrepreneur Richard Browning decided to do and just this year found himself demoing his ‘flight suit’ to venture capitalist Tim Draper in the parking lot of Boost VC. Moments later Draper — who invested in Baidu, Tesla and Skype — pulled out a $100 bill and wrote out a ‘term sheet’ for $650,000 with the words “Just make it better”. Adam Draper, CEO of Boost VC, also invested on the spot.
In theory that gives Gravity a $6.5m valuation within a few months of its launch this year.
The money will be used to develop mark 2 of the Gravity flight suit, and fuel further development in its patent pending technology.
The Gravity suit combines body mounted miniaturized jet-engines, with a specially designed exo-skeletal suit, allowing the pilot to vertically take off and fly using the pilot’s shifting body-weight and arms as its thrust control.
The Gravity suit has had a lot of international press now, with Richard invited to speak at several international events, doing 20 live demos in seven countries.
“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,” said Browning.
Adam Draper said: “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. As an investor, you’re always on the look-out for businesses that excite and inspire you, and we’ve absolutely found that in Richard and Gravity. My father and I don’t make a habit of investing on-the-spot, but it would have massively felt like a missed opportunity and I’m personally looking forward to working with Richard and his team to see where it goes next.”