HyperSciences pushes ahead with blaster tech

HyperSciences has raised more than $9 million for its hypersonic blaster technology using an unusual crowdfunding model, but now it’s working to attract millions more in investment the old-fashioned way.

The six-year-old venture in Spokane, Wash., founded by CEO Mark Russell and backed by Seattle startup veteran Mike McSherry, is in the midst of a funding round that’s offering up to $3.95 million in equity. More than $1.6 million of that equity has already been sold, coming on the heels of a $9.2 million equity-based crowdfunding campaign that made use of the SeedInvest and Crowdcube online platforms.

About 4,000 investors got in on the campaign, which ended last year and morphed into the current investment round, Russell said. “We had investors putting in from $2,000 to … you know, some invested over $100,000,” he told GeekWire. “We’d always built the company to be a starting point for a public company.”

Russell said total investment to date amounts to more than $13 million, including seed funding that came before the crowdfunding. As of last week’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, $2.3 million of the current offering remained to be sold.

For Russell and his team, the true bottom line is to build a solid foundation for the next stage of HyperSciences’ efforts to harness the company’s ram accelerator technology, which came out of a collaboration with the University of Washington.

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HyperSciences blasts past $3M in funding campaign

HyperSciences test
HyperSciences CEO Mark Russell, at right, grins for the camera while a teammate prepares for a projectile test firing. (HyperSciences Photo)

HyperSciences’ hypersonic blaster technology can be used to send projectiles up into the air, or down into rock — either way, the Spokane, Wash.-based startup says things are looking up.

The company’s unorthodox SeedInvest securities offering has raised more than $3 million so far. “We are actually on our way toward the full $10 million,” HyperScience CEO and founder Mark Russell told GeekWire. The SeedInvest effort builds on $3 million in previous investments, including support from the Washington Research Foundation, Kick-Start II, Cowles Company and The Toolbox.

Thanks to the fresh funding, about 10 employees are being added in Spokane as well as in Austin, Texas.

Why set up an HQ2 in Austin? It’s near the site where HyperSciences is getting ready for a rock-blasting demonstration of its HyperDrill device. “It looks like a reasonable site for us,” said Russell, who’s a veteran of the Seattle startup scene as well as Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture.

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HyperSciences wins support for ram accelerator

Mark Russell
HyperSciences CEO Mark Russell holds a test projectile that is used in the company’s ram accelerator system. (HyperSciences via YouTube)

Things are looking up, and looking down, for HyperSciences Inc. Either way, that’s good news for the four-year-old hypersonic startup in Spokane, Wash., and for its founder and CEO, Mark Russell.

Hypersciences’ key technology is a ram accelerator system that can be used to drill downward into rock up to 10 times more quickly than traditional methods — or send a projectile upward at 6,700 mph, roughly nine times the speed of sound.

The drilling application, known as HyperDrill, won more than $1 million in support from Shell Global’s GameChanger program for early-stage technology development. In May, Shell sent HyperSciences a non-binding letter of intent to provide another $250,000 in development funding, potentially leading to a $2.5 million field trial.

Also in May, NASA awarded HyperSciences a $125,000 Small Business Innovation Research Phase I grant to develop a hypersonic launch system based on the company’s HyperCore ram accelerator technology.

“There’s a new way to fly,” Russell told GeekWire.

To take HyperSciences to the next level, Russell and his team have turned to SeedInvest, an online platform for equity-based crowdfunding,

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