Volocopter raises $55 million to get flying taxis off the ground
Volocopter has announced it signed the first closing of its Series C funding round, which is being led by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding). The new funds will be used towards bringing the VoloCity aircraft to commercial launch within the next three years.
The first closing will increase the total capital that Volocopter has raised to EUR 85 million. The company makes electric-powered air taxis to get people to their destination saving time by avoiding the traffic jams below and helping cities transform their transportation systems towards a more sustainable future by adding a new transport option.
Since its foundation in 2011, the company has built three generations of Volocopter aircraft, two of which received licenses for manned and unmanned flight with total funding of EUR 35 million. The company has performed numerous public demonstrations of the viability of electrically powered vertical take-off and landing aircraft, most recently it successfully completed a flight at Helsinki International Airport.
Geely Holding is a privately-owned automotive group from China which has a portfolio of global brands including Volvo and Lotus. Geely Holding becomes a minority investor in Volocopter, next to existing strategic investors like Daimler. The founders, Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel both individual shareholders, jointly remain the company’s largest shareholder.
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. 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. Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter
The company’s 2X prototype is made from carbon fibre composites and weights less than 450kgs, It has 18 rotors powered by nine independent quick charge lithium-ion batteries and features a flight time of 30 minutes and a maximum range of 17 miles.
The company anticipates a second closing of the Series C towards the end of the year. The company is in advanced discussions with both strategic and financial investors for such second closing and remains open to new investors. Volocopter will put the funds towards receiving commercial certification by the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) for their VoloCity aircraft.