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Neom fund invests in US supersonic aircraft maker

Ground testing of Boom's XB-1 at the Mojave Air & Space Port Boom Supersonic
Ground testing of Boom's XB-1 at the Mojave Air & Space Port

Newly launched Neom Investment Fund (NIF) has invested in Boom Supersonic, a US company developing the world’s fastest airliner.

The value of the investment was not given. However, Boom confirmed that the total funding to date now exceeds $700 million.

As part of the agreement, Boom and NIF will collaborate on opportunities to make the Gulf region more accessible through the power of supersonic flight. 

“Our goal is to bring the world closer together through faster flights,” said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic. 

Launched in October, NIF is the strategic investment arm of the $500 billion Neom, the sustainable regional development in northwest Saudi Arabia. 

Boom’s XB-1’s first flight remains on track for later this year at the Mojave Air & Space Port. XB-1 has recently completed several integrated tests, including ground vibration mode testing, fuel system integrated testing, engine operability testing, and medium-speed taxi testing up to 90 knots. 

Work to complete the Overture superfactory in North Carolina is now ahead of its original schedule, with completion anticipated in the second quarter of 2024.

Overture will fly twice the speed of today’s airliners and is optimised to run on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel. The order book stands at 130 aircraft, including orders and pre-orders from American Airlines, United Airlines and Japan Airlines.

NIF last month announced making a $100 million investment in the global autonomous driving company Pony.ai. It also announced an investment in Rhode Island-based Regent, as part of a multi-year partnership to establish regional seaglider passenger operations. 

The fund will invest and develop 14 knowledge economy sectors deemed critical to the giga-project.

The wholly owned subsidiary will invest globally via mergers and acquisitions and venture capital in technology startups, focusing on pioneering growth companies and next-generation industries. Joint ventures and partnerships will be formed with multinationals, institutional investors and innovators.

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