Germany-based urban air mobility (UAM) startup Volocopter, which plans to launch fully-electric passenger air taxis and cargo drones around the world in coming years, says it has picked up $170 million as the first tranche of Series E funding to kick off services in “cities like Singapore, Rome, and Paris.”
With its latest round led by South Korean investor WP Investment, Volocopter has raised $579 million to date. The startup is developing a variety of sustainable mobility solutions – VoloCity, VoloConnect, and VoloDrone – for a commercial launch aimed as soon as 2024.
As the only electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company to have received Design Organization Approval (DOA) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Volocopter finds itself in a leading position in a highly attractive emerging market. Christian Bauer, CCO of Volocopter, says:
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.
Notably, the company’s new backer, WP Investment, is also entering into a strategic partnership with Volocopter to create a joint venture that will soon bring passenger air taxis to South Korea’s cities. It’s worth highlighting that the aviation startup has already conducted two test flights of its aircraft in South Korea during public demonstrations at airports in Seoul.
Dr. Lei Wang, chairman of WP Investment, says:
We are confident that Volocopter will be among the first to bring UAM to cities globally, since seeing its aircraft fly in Seoul last year. As a leader in ESG investment, we are excited to empower city sustainability through Volocopter.
Volocopter also announced recently it has entered a financing agreement with Aviation Capital Group to shape the sale and leasing of its aircraft for up to $1 billion. Once aircraft certification is achieved, this agreement will allow Volocopter to offer its operating entities and customers worldwide attractive leasing options – a capability it views as key to scaling the business rapidly in the future.