When reading about plane companies that aim to decrease emissions, its readers tend to be in two camps. There are those who care about the environment and are voracious readers of any involving decreasing carbon footprints and using fewer fossil fuels. There are also those who kind of yawn and go on to the next article.
But I’ve just read about an airplane startup that could potentially have a third and possibly even a fourth set of readers – the haters and the conspiracy theorists. Not because of the potential impact on the environment (although sure, I’m sure there could be some who would sneer, side-eye and use the word “treehugger”), but because of where they’re getting their funding from.
ZeroAvia is a hydrogen airplane startup with a goal to accelerate zero-emission commercial air travel. And their backers include Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.
Heads may explode. 😉
ZeroAvia recently announced that it raised $21.4 million in funding from investors, including Jeff Bezos’ Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a company established by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Both groups of investors are 100% legit. The Climate Pledge Fund invests in visionary companies whose products and solutions will facilitate the development of sustainable and decarbonizing technologies and services. Breakthrough Energy‘s mission is to, “help lead the world to net-zero emissions by 2050 by supporting cutting-edge research and development, vesting in companies that turn green ideas into clean products and tools, and advocating for policies that speed innovation from labs to markets.” Both regularly invest in ways to save the earth.
But Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, as well as (currently) the richest person in the world, is also one of its most hated people. It’s been said he doesn’t pay his workers enough and generally treats them like crap. He’s profited massively during the coronavirus pandemic. He’s also on track to become the world’s first trillionaire. And he’s figured out ways for his company to (legally) pay few, if any taxes.
Bill Gates isn’t hated per se, as much as he’s become a massive topic of COVID-related conspiracy theories. In fact, over the summer, 44% of Republicans believed the Microsoft founder was plotting to use the COVID vaccine to implant tracking chips into people that would later be activated by 5G.
So they’ve got a startup funded by, granted, not only Shell Ventures, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Horizons Ventures and Summa Equity, but also one of the most hated people in the country, and a guy that’s a major topic of conspiracy theorists.
Hopefully, that won’t be an issue for ZeroAvia. 😉
Obviously, I’m writing this all in jest. As much as people claim they “hate” Bezos, it hasn’t seemed to stop anyone from ordering things through Amazon. If they don’t put their money where their mouth is for that, I doubt they’ll have problems with their giving money to a startup that promotes zero emissions. As for the people who think Bill Gates is doing nefarious things with 5G, well, conspiracy theorists are gonna conspiracy theorize. Although some may refuse COVID vaccines because they don’t understand the science behind this new technology (here’s some info about how they did it, by the way. This is some good reading about it, too, but heads up that it contains some adult language), most people are based in reality and don’t think it’s because of microchips and 5G.
Either way, nah, it seriously shouldn’t hurt ZeroAvia. This is a good thing – they have a very admirable goal.
Feature Photo: pxhere
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary