German drone startup Volocopter today announces extending its Series C funding round to a total €87 million to fulfill its aim of being a pioneer of urban air mobility. The funding will go towards the certification of the VoloCity (for an air taxi service), hiring more industry experts, and a second generation VoloDrone to ensure commercialization of its heavy-lift cargo drone.
Volocopter, founded in 2011, is developing autonomous electrical VoloCity aircraft to offer air taxi services in the megacities of this world as an addition to existing transport options. Just recently, the company performed a public flight over Marina Bay Reservoir in Singapore, demonstrating the maturity of its technology, and a full scale VoloPort prototype on display allowed visitors to experience what urban air mobility could feel like in the future. Last October, Volocopter presented the demonstrator of its VoloDrone, marking the company’s expansion into the logistics, agriculture, public services and construction industries.
This funding round was participated in by DB Schenker, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, TransLink Capital, Lukasz Gadowski and btov participated. To date Volocopter has raised total funding of €122 million.
“We are convinced that the Volocopter technology has the potential to bring transport logistics to the next dimension for our customers”, says Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker. “DB Schenker has already tested autonomous and electrical vehicles in several innovation projects and in actual operations. 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. We are thrilled to now be part of this drive for innovation in a fantastic team.”
“The new shareholder structure strengthens our global network of strategic and financial partners significantly. Bringing urban air mobility to life for passengers and goods is a great ambition and with our new partners we bring the expertise and necessary long-term funds on board to make this innovative form of mobility a reality,” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.
With the round’s closing, the company has also newly appointed Yifan ‘Frank’ Li (Vice President of Geely Holding Group Co, and Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker) to its Advisory Board. In a move towards further enhancing its corporate governance, Volocopter is bringing on two Independent Advisory Board Members with extensive industry expertise: Dr. Dieter Zetsche (former CEO of Daimler AG), as well as Martin Hubschneider (founder of CAS Software AG). Volocopter’s Chairman Stefan Klocke comments: “We very much welcome the new members to our Advisory Board, in particular Dieter Zetsche and Martin Hubschneider. The board will support the management in the further strategic development of the company towards the global market leader in urban air mobility and in the preparations for a potential future IPO!”
As the first vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company to receive ‘Design Organisation Approval’ by the European Aviation Safety Authority, the German air taxi service provider is already actively pursuing commercial certification and expects the first commercial routes to be opened within the next two to four years.