Volocopter raises $241Million, says operations to begin in 2 yrs

By VARINDIA - 2021-03-04

Volocopter raises $241Million, says operations to begin in 2 yrs

A startup from Germany into making air taxi, Volocopter has raised about $241 million in Series D funding. CEO Florian Reuter said services for its two vehicle models, VoloDrone and VoloCity, will begin in about two years. "Paris and Singapore are in pole position [as the first cities], where Paris wants to have electric air taxis established for the 2024 Olympics," he said.

 

In a year where mass transit on airplanes, trains and buses has had lower traveler numbers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the startups hoping to pioneer a totally new approach to getting individuals from A to B - flying taxis - has raised some significant funding.

 

This latest (oversubscribed) Series D includes new investments from a mix of financial and strategic backers. Funds managed by BlackRock; global infrastructure company Atlantia SpA.; Avala Capital; automotive parts behemoth Continental AG; Japan’s NTT via its venture capital arm; Tokyo Century, a Japanese leasing company; and multiple family offices, among others. Volocopter also said that all of its existing investors — that list includes Geely, Daimler, DB Schenker, Intel Capital, btov Partners, Team Europe and Klocke Holding and more — also contributed to the round.

 

Sources said, as the task of what Volocopter is attempting is complex and requires a wide ecosystem of other players, said Rene Griemens, the company’s CFO.

 

“Getting urban air mobility off the ground requires a full ecosystem that we are developing right now. Many of our strategic partners will support us on different aspects of the supply chain, scaling components, entering markets, improving operations amongst others. Most of them know certain aspects of our business model really well (e.g. Japan Airlines for aviation, Atlantia for infrastructure),” he said. “Their investment is a reflection of their excitement about Volocopter as a leader in building the entire ecosystem of UAM, thereby giving credibility and comfort for purely financial investors.”


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