Aviation start-up Volocopter has agreed a finance deal over €25 million with Daimler, the technology investor Lukasz Gadowski from Berlin and further investors. Using this fresh capital Volocopter will further expand upon the leading technology in its purely electrically driven VTOLs, (eVTOL), speed up the introduction process of the Volocopter serial model and conquer the market for flying air taxis. The safe, quiet and environmentally friendly aircraft, suitable for transporting two passengers, will revolutionise mobility in metropolises. In order to realise this vision Volocopter also invests in its team and plans to continuously develop it further.
Volocopter is up for a soaring start not just because of the successful round of funding: As early as in June the young enterprise already won top place in the international run for the world’s first pilot project involving air taxis in urban spaces. In the fourth quarter of 2017 Volocopter, together with the state transport authority Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, will conduct initial demonstrations of an autonomous air taxi. By 2030 Dubai aims to carry out 25% of its passenger transportation with the help of autonomous means of transport.
“The strong financial commitment of our new investors is a signal as well as proof of the growing confidence in the newly emerging market for electrically driven VTOLs put to use as personal air taxis,” Florian Reuter, managing director of Volocopter, is pleased to point out. “We deliberately sought a mix of investors with strategic and entrepreneurial backgrounds and were able to implement this perfectly with Daimler und Lukasz Gadowski”.
Automobile companies specifically are intensely interested in the mobility of the future – in autonomous driving or electrical mobility for example. Daimler is therefore a very valuable strategic partner for Volocopter. “We are world leaders in the development of electrical VTOL aircraft,” said Reuter, “and for it to stay that way in the future we are very pleased with the participation of the worldwide leader in automobiles.”
Together with its partners, Volocopter will be using the new funding to further expand upon technical innovations and its pioneering role within the emerging industry. The plan is to further the development of the Volocopter up to production maturity and commercial licensing through aviation authorities worldwide. Amongst other things, extensive test flight programmes are envisaged for this purpose. In order to speed up progress, the employment of additional engineers specialised in the development of flight systems, software and electric propulsion as well as the development of commercial function is envisaged.