British Start-up Secures Landmark Investment from Supernal: Urban-Air Port Funded by Supernal
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Today, British start-up Urban-Air Port Ltd (UAP) revealed that it has acquired funding from Supernal (formerly the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group) to carry out the companies’ shared goal of assimilating advanced air mobility (AAM) into existing transit networks. The funding will go towards UAP’s undertaking to develop 200 vertiport sites worldwide over the course of the next five years.
UAP’s vertiport sites will grant the infrastructure necessary to help prepare for the mass adoption of eVTOL aircraft like cargo drones and air taxis. Air-One, the world’s first fully operational hub for eVTOLs, will open for public visitation this coming April in Coventry City Centre. The demonstration will showcase AAM’s ability to help unlock the potential of sustainable mobility, as well as how the industry will work to help reduce congestion, cut air pollution and decarbonise transport.
Urban Air-Port Funded, Supported with Supernal Cooperation
This landmark investment marks the first time a major eVTOL company has invested in an AAM ground infrastructure developer. Additionally, Urban-Air Port has named Adam Slepian, Supernal’s Global Head of Partnerships & Business Development, to its board of directors, effective immediately, with Matthew Sattler, Supernal’s Head of Infrastructure and Ecosystems Partnerships, joining UAP’s board of advisors. The two companies’ close cooperation guarantees the sharing of knowledge and expertise across two critical components of the industry.
The urban air mobility sector is estimated to increase by 9% annually, with a projected US$12.7 billion by 2027 and up to US$1 trillion in the next 20 years. However, a lack of ground infrastructure remains one of the largest hurdles for the growth of the AAM industry. Only 3% of last year’s industry investment (US$150 million) was in the physical ground infrastructure, despite 33 times that figure (US$5 billion) announced for the development of eVTOL vehicles in the same period.
Supernal is bringing together public and private stakeholders to shape the AAM industry going forward. The company is also in the process of developing its own proprietary eVTOL, with plans to launch its first commercial flight in 2028. Supernal’s investment in UAP will help support the development of UAP’s new “vertiport” models, such as the CityBox delivery drone hub, as well as expansion into new markets.
“Cars need roads. Trains need rails. Planes need airports. eVTOLs need Urban-Air Ports. Despite the unparalleled potential of eVTOL aircraft to revolutionize mobility, the importance of the ground infrastructure that enables them is too often overlooked,” said Urban-Air Port Founder and Executive Chairman Ricky Sandhu. “With Supernal’s investment and expertise and connection to Hyundai Motor Group, we can supercharge the rollout of sustainable, intermodal and scalable ground infrastructure that will unleash the future of advanced air mobility globally.”
“We are assembling a group of aligned financial and corporate venture capital investors that will extend our leadership,” Sandhu continued. “I look forward to welcoming further investors into UAP.”
“At Supernal, we are on a mission to transform how people and society move, connect, and live; therefore, it is essential we not only develop electric air vehicles, but also help shape the broader advanced air mobility market from the ground up,” said Jaiwon Shin, CEO of Supernal and President of Hyundai Motor Group. “We are pleased to continue working with Urban-Air Port and support its efforts to create ground infrastructure that works seamlessly with eVTOLs and integrates the advanced air mobility industry with existing modes of transportation.”
Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
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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