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Volocopter raises new capital in funding round

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-09 15:46

Volocopter, the Urban Air Mobility pioneer, announced on Sept 9 that it signed the first closing of its Series C funding round being led by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

The new funds will be used towards bringing the VoloCity aircraft to commercial launch within the next three years.

Volocopter remains in discussion with additional investors for a second closing around year's end. The first closing will increase total capital that Volocopter has raised to 85 million euros ($93.73 million).

Volocopter builds electrically powered air taxis to get people safely and directly to their destination. The aim is to save people time and help megacities transform their transportation systems toward a more sustainable future by adding a new mobility option for their citizens.

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 35 million euros.

The company has performed numerous public demonstrations of the viability of electrically powered vertical take-off and landing aircraft, most recently completing a flight at Helsinki International Airport.

"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," said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.

"This funding round is allowing us to take great strides toward bringing Urban Air Mobility to life while being respectful of our shareholders' money."

Geely Holding, the privately-owned automotive group from China which has a portfolio of global brands including Geely Auto, Volvo Cars and Lotus, as well as other automotive brands, led the Series C funding round.

Geely Holding thus becomes a minority investor in Volocopter, next to existing strategic investors like Daimler. Volocopter founders Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, both individual shareholders, jointly remain the company's largest shareholder.

Volocopter 2X, an aerial taxi which can carry two people, is seen in a rendering. The unmanned aerial vehicle's net weight is about 260 kilograms and its maximum load capacity is about 160 kg. [Photo/VCG]

Geely Holding's participation highlights the strategic cooperation potential with Volocopter. The companies have agreed to enter into a joint venture to bring Urban Air Mobility to the Chinese market.

Li Shufu, Geely Holding chairman, said: "Geely is transitioning from being an automotive manufacturer to a mobility technology group, investing in and developing a wide range of next-generation technologies. Our latest cooperation with Daimler, building on our partnership in smart and premium ride-hailing services, as well as our joint venture with Volocopter, underlines our confidence in Volocopter air taxis as the next ambitious step in our wider expansion in both electrification and new mobility services."

Ola Källenius, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, said: "We are delighted to see our partners at Geely investing in Volocopter and becoming shareholders, as we have since 2017. Daimler is committed to supporting innovative new mobility services. One exciting example is Volocopter and the idea of urban air transport."

Volocopter anticipates a second Series C closing toward the end of the year. The company is in advanced discussions with strategic and financial investors for this, and remains open to new investors. Volocopter will put the funds toward receiving commercial certification by the European Aviation Safety Authority for their VoloCity aircraft.

Just recently Volocopter presented the design for VoloCity, its new air taxi being created according to specifications put forward by EASA.

Volocopter performed a piloted flight integrated in Helsinki International Airport's air traffic management system in late August, thus proving the compatibility of air taxis with existing air traffic management solutions. Later this year the Urban Air Mobility pioneer will present its VoloPort air taxi landing infrastructure at the ITS WC from Oct 22 to 25, 2019 in Singapore.

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