Volocopter, a German aircraft maker, has raised US$170mn in the initial signing of its Series E funding round led by South Korean investor WP Investment, at a pre-money valuation of US$1.7bn.
The money raised will assist with the certification of Volocopter’s electric passenger air taxi and is expected to help Volocopter achieve commercial launch in first cities worldwide.
Founded in 2011 by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, Volocopter is an urban air mobility service provider that develops battery-powered electric air taxis. The company is developing new and sustainable mobility options for cities around the world. Currently, Volocopter has three types of aircraft (the VoloCity, VoloConnect, and VoloDrone), and is taking a unique approach by developing urban air mobility (UAM) as a holistic ecosystem.
Christian Bauer, CCO of Volocopter, said: “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. I’m excited to accelerate our path to commercial launch together with investors, partners, and the phenomenal Volocopter team!”
Bringing urban air mobility to life at scale in cities worldwide
As the first and only electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company to receive Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Volocopter has committed to launching commercial air taxi services in cities like Singapore, Rome, and Paris.
It offers a holistic approach to the UAM market by developing a full ecosystem to connect all the vital parts to get the industry off the ground. This includes multipurpose aircraft (VoloCity and VoloDrone), physical and digital infrastructure(VoloPort and VoloIQ), as well as partnerships with global leaders in their respective fields.
With VoloCity, the company is developing the fully electric vertical take-off and landing “eVTOL” aircraft in certification to transport passengers safely and quietly within cities. Volocopter leads and cooperates with partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the ecosystem necessary to ‘Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life’.
“This funding round is a testament to Volocopter’s leading position in what is a highly attractive emerging market. We continue to make significant technical and commercial progress as we work toward bringing urban air mobility to life at scale in cities worldwide,” said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.
Rapidly scaling the business
The company recently announced that it has entered a financing agreement in principle with Aviation Capital Group (ACG) to shape the sale and leasing of Volocopter aircraft for up to US$1bn. Once aircraft certification has been achieved, this agreement will allow Volocopter to offer its operating entities and customers worldwide attractive leasing options, a key to rapidly scaling the business in the future.
"Our successful first signing of Series E brings phenomenal new investors on board, with further in the due diligence stage. This private funding round allows us to stay focused on our mission to bring sustainable urban air mobility to life," said Stefan Klocke, Chairman of Volocopter's Advisory Board. "We have never been in a stronger position: 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."