Flying taxi start-up Volocopter has signed the first closing of its Series C funding round, led by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding), having raised €50 million. The funds will be used to help the company’s VoloCity aircraft receive commercial certification by the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA).
Volocopter has now raised €85 million and discussions remain with additional investors for a second closing.
Volocopter builds electrically powered air taxis to give people a safe and direct mobility option, saving them time and helping megacities transform their transportation systems to become more sustainable. Founded in 2011, Volocopter has built three generations of aircraft, two of which received licenses for manned and unmanned flight with a total funding of €35 million.
The company has performed numerous tests of the viability of electrically powered vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL), most recently completing a flight at Helsinki International Airport. It performed a piloted flight integrated in the air traffic management system hoping to prove the compatibility of air taxis with existing solutions.
“Urban mobility needs to evolve in the next few years to meet rising demand. With our Volocopter air taxis, we are adding a whole new level of mobility in the skies,” said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. “This funding round is allowing us to take great strides towards bringing Urban Air Mobility to life whilst being respectful of our shareholder’s money.”
Following the funding round, Geely Holding becomes a minority investor in Volocopter, next to existing strategic investors like Daimler.
The companies have agreed to enter into a joint venture to bring urban air mobility to the Chinese market. Li Shufu, Geely Holding Chairman, said: “Geely is transitioning from being an automotive manufacturer to a mobility technology group, investing in and developing a wide range of next-generation technologies. Our latest cooperation with Daimler, building on our partnership in smart and premium ride-hailing services, as well as our joint venture with Volocopter, underlines our confidence in Volocopter air taxis as the next ambitious step in our wider expansion in both electrification and new mobility services.”