Air Taxi Volocopter extends Series C funding to $94M with backing from DB Schenker and others
German electrical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft maker Volocopter just announced that it raised $94 in Series C funding led by DB Schenker. The latest cash infusion bolsters the company's ambition to run commercial routes within the next two to four years.
The autonomous air mobility company Volocopter is on a mission to build the world's first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business, aiming to bring affordable air taxi services to megacities worldwide. Founded in 2011 by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, Volocopter performed the first-ever manned flight of a purely electric multicopter that same year.
Volocopter brings its total raised to around $132
December 2019, Volocopter announced its Series C funding round. At the time, the German electrical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft maker announced $54 million in funding. Now, thanks to a new lead investor, the logistics giant DB Schenker, the C round has grown to $94 million.
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, as well as the venture arm of its parent MS&AD, along with TransLink Capital also participated in the C round. Other participants are the existing investors Lukasz Gadowski and btov.
Alongside this round extension, Volocopter adds two advisory board members—Yifan Li from Geely Holding Group, which led the first tranche of this round closed in September, and DB Schenker CEO Jochen Thewes.
"We are convinced that the Volocopter technology has the potential to bring transport logistics to the next dimension for our customers. DB Schenker has already tested autonomous and electrical vehicles in several innovation projects and in actual operations," says Jochen Thewes.
On track to get its first-ever vehicle licensed for commercial operation
Volocopter was awarded the Design Organisation Approval (DOA) in December last year by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), giving the company a streamlined pathway to commercial certification of its passenger-carrying multi-copter.
Volocopter claims to be unique among eVTOL developers in holding this EASA status. Other DOA holders include Airbus, BAE Systems, Leonardo and Lufthansa Technik.
With this new funding, Volocopter brings its total raised to around $132 million. The latest cash infusion bolsters the company's ambition of achieving certification for its VoloCity autonomous, its air taxi eVTOL designed to transport people, to run commercial routes within the next two to four years. The aircraft recently flew a demonstration flight in Singapore, and it's already on track to become the company's first-ever vehicle licensed for commercial operation.
Meanwhile, Volocopoter will also use the new funds to expand the company's market to include logistics. They're looking to do this by investing in the development of a next-generation iteration of its VoloDrone, the cargo-carrying version of VoloCity.
"By integrating the VoloDrone into our supply chain of the future, we will be able to serve our clients' demand for fast, remote, emission-neutral deliveries," says Jochen Thewes.