DCM flies with aircraft funding

DCM-Doll Capital Management, which typically invests in early stage tech companies, announced today that it led a $93 million funding of Adam Aircraft, an Englewood, Colo.-based maker of very light jet (VLJ) aircrafts (Adam Aircraft). DCM was joined on the deal by Mesirow Financial, W Capital Partners, D.E.Shaw Laminar Portfolios, Acadia Woods Partners, and previous investors Goldman Sachs and Hunt Growth Capital. The investors are calling the funding a Series F round.

The company, which previously had raised less than $100 million from investors, plans to use the new funding to increase the production of its A500 twin-engine piston aircraft and to gets its A700 model certified by the FAA. CEO Rick Adam said in a prepared release that the company has an order backlog of more than 400, valued at $850 million.

Though DCM is known more for backing Internet and other tech companies, General Partner David Chao told PE Week that the deal is not that unusual for the firm, which invests about 80% of its funds in early stage deals and 20% in late stage companies. In fact, this is not the first airline company backed by the firm. Last year, DCM led a $20 million funding deal in StarFlyer Inc., a Japan-based airline shuttle service. “People called that an out-of-box deal, for us to go to Japan, but it’s not viewed that way anymore,” Chao says

Chao says that the demand for less expensive aircraft is what’s driving the popularity of Adam Aircraft. The company also recently gained some visibility since it was featured in the “Miami Vice” movie. —Alastair Goldfisher