Volocopter GmbH last week said it has raised an initial $170 million in its Series E funding round. The Bruchsal, Germany-based said it plans to use the financing to certify its electric, autonomous air taxi and commercially launch it in the first cities worldwide.
“This funding round is a testament to Volocopter’s leading position in what is a highly attractive emerging market,” stated Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. “We continue to make significant technical and commercial progress as we work toward bringing urban air mobility to life at scale in cities worldwide.”
Volocopter said it is developing a new and sustainable urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem. Its aircraft include the VoloCity, VoloConnect, and VoloDrone. With 10 years of development experience, the company claimed that it the first and only electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company to receive Design Organization Approval (DOA) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Volocopter said it has committed to launching commercial air taxi services in cities such as Singapore, Rome, and Paris. The company also announced that Dirk Hoke, former CEO of Airbus Defence & Space, will be its CEO and managing director, starting in September.
Investors provide fuel for air taxi takeoff
WP Investment led Volocopter's Series E round, which brings its pre-money valuation to $1.7 billion. New investors such as Honeywell and existing ones, like Atlantia, Whysol, and btov Partners, also participated.
“We will continue to promote urban air mobility, a fast-growing business that can help reduce emissions and traffic in large cities,” said Elisabetta de Bernardi, investment director for Europe at Atlantia.
“Our successful first signing of Series E brings phenomenal new investors on board, with further in the due diligence stage,” said Stefan Klocke, chairman of Volocopter’s advisory board. “This private funding round allows us to stay focused on our mission to bring sustainable urban air mobility to life.”
Volocopter said it has raised a total of $579 million to date, and it is also working with global logistics provider DB Schenker for drone deliveries.
“We have never been in a stronger position,” he said. “We are financially diversified, certification of the aircraft is within reach, and we are demonstrating our advanced capabilities by public flights and strong joint ventures across the world.”
Christian Bauer, the company's chief commercial officer, added: “Volocopter has spectacular investors from around the globe, which puts us in an excellent position to focus on our first-to-certification and first-to-market strategies before we embark on the path to public listing.”
Volocopter partners for leasing, Korean launch
Seoul, South Korea-based WP Investment will also create a joint venture with Volocopter to bring aerial mobility options to cities in South Korea.
“We are confident that Volocopter will be the first to bring UAM to cities globally, since seeing its aircraft fly in Seoul last year,” said Dr. Lei Wang, chairman of WP Investment. “We are excited to empower city sustainability through Volocopter.”
Tiffany Park, co-chairman of WP Investment, added, “We are excited to kick off our joint venture and be the first to establish sustainable eVTOL logistics and air taxi services with Volocopter in Korea.”
Volocopter recently announced that it has entered a financing agreement in principle with Aviation Capital Group (ACG) to shape the sale and leasing of its aircraft for up to $1 billion. Once aircraft certification has been achieved, the company said this agreement will allow it to offer leasing options, which it said will be key to rapidly scaling the business.