The appetite for investment in the air taxi or urban air mobility sector continues to grow, as new Volocopter funding indicates.
Volocopter, one of the first working air taxis – and the only company to receive Design Organization Approval (DOA) by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) – has announced a €200 million (about $240 million) Series D funding round, bringing their funding total to €322 million.
“The funding will be used to solidify Volocopter’s leading position in the UAM market by bringing the VoloCity, the battery-powered air taxi for cities, to certification and by accelerating the launch of its first commercial routes,” says the press release.
The urban air mobility (UAM) includes products described as electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxis, flying cars, drone taxis, passenger drones, autonomous aerial vehicles (AAV), and infrastructure, is a hot – and competitive – market. In the last few months, publicly traded EHang has experienced significant stock movement. Joby Aviation, who acquired Uber’s UAM project, Uber Elevate, has just released a first video of their prototype vehicle in flight. Volocopter, however, was first in the air commercially, providing the very first working air taxi in the world: Dubai’s system was launched back in 2017 as a demonstration of how urban air mobility could work.
Now, says the press release, “Volocopter is in the final stages of providing new, sustainable mobility options for cities around the world. Their future services range from electric autonomous air taxis flying passengers directly and safely to their destinations, to transporting goods with the company’s VoloDrone.”
“….Volocopter expects its first commercial air taxi routes to be opened within the next two years.”
“Volocopter is ahead of the curve in the UAM industry, and we have the achievements to prove it,” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. “No other electric air taxi company has publicly performed as many flights in cities around the world, with full regulatory approval, as Volocopter has. Our VoloCity is the fifth generation of Volocopter aircraft and has a strong path to being the first certified electric air taxi for cities. Volocopter already has the extensive partnerships necessary to set up the UAM ecosystem for launching both our company and the industry into commercial operations. We are called the pioneers of UAM for a reason, and we plan to keep that title.”
New investors in Volocopter include funds managed by BlackRock, global infrastructure company Atlantia S.p.A., Avala Capital, mobility technology giant Continental AG, global technology focused investment fund Jericho Capital, global technology and business solutions provider NTT via its venture capital arm, Tokyo Century, a leading Japanese leasing company, leading family offices, and others. All existing investors, including Geely, Daimler, DB Schenker, Intel Capital, btov Partners, Team Europe, and Klocke Holding amongst others also joined the round.
“We are thrilled to welcome investors who share our belief that innovative technology like our Volocopter is one of the key enablers for a sustainable future,” says Rene Griemens, CFO of Volocopter. “Our shareholder structure remains well balanced with a healthy mix of strategic and financial partners spread as globally as our business ambitions.”
Volocopter has performed several milestone flights in Helsinki, Stuttgart, Dubai, and over Singapore’s Marina Bay in recent years. While the first routes are yet to be announced, the company has committed to establishing air taxi services in Singapore and Paris, with plans to expand many more routes in the US, Asia, and Europe.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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