Volocopter raises £173M, German flying taxi startup expects to launch services by 2023
German urban air mobility (UAM) manufacturer Volocopter is in the final stages of providing new, sustainable fly taxi mobility option for the global cities. Its heavy-lift utility cargo drone, VoloDrone is intended to transport passengers and goods safely.
Intends to be UAM market leader
In a recent development, Volocopter closed its oversubscribed Series D funding round at €200M (nearly £173M). As a result, the company’s overall funding stands at €322M (nearly £278M).
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. Also, existing investors including Geely, Daimler, DB Schenker, Intel Capital, btov Partners, Team Europe and Klocke Holding took part in the investment round.
The funding will be used to solidify Volocopter’s leading position in the UAM market by bringing the VoloCity. The company will use the investment to take its battery-powered air taxi to certification and by accelerating the launch of its first commercial routes.
“Volocopter is ahead of the curve in the UAM industry, and we have the achievements to prove it,” said 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.”
“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,” said 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.”
To launch services in 2 years
Having ten years of development experience, and as the first and only electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company to receive Design Organisation Approval (DOA) by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Volocopter also informed in the company that now they expects their first commercial air taxi routes to be opened within the next two years.
Founded by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel in 2011 by Bruchsal, Volocopter has developed multipurpose aircrafts – VoloCity and VoloDrone and physical and digital infrastructure – VoloPort and VoloIQ. Also, it has established partnerships with global leaders in their respective fields.
The company is building the world’s first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business. With the VoloCity, the company is developing the first fully electric “eVTOL” aircraft in certification to transport passengers safely and quietly within cities.
In 2011, Volocopter performed the first-ever crewed flight of a purely electric multicopter and has since showcased numerous public flights with its full-scale aircraft. The most notable have been the public test flights at Singapore’s Marina Bay in October 2019 and the world’s first autonomous eVTOL flight in Dubai 2017. Volocopter has 300 employees in offices in Bruchsal, Munich, and Singapore.
While the first routes are yet to be announced, the company has committed to establish air taxi services in Singapore and Paris. Also, it has plans to expand many more routes in the US, Asia, and Europe.