Flying taxi firm Volocopter raises €200m

3 Mar 2021

The VoloCity aircraft. Image: Volocopter

The German company said its VoloCity aircraft will be ready for commercial flights in cities within the next two years.

Volocopter, the German ‘flying taxi’ start-up, has raised €200m in a Series D round as it prepares to commercialise its aircraft in the next two years.

The urban air mobility company is designing and manufacturing an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, VoloCity, that can carry a small number of passengers around cities and surrounding areas.

The company, which was founded in 2011 and has now raised a total of €322m, said the investment will aid efforts to have its aircraft certified for commercial operations. It raised €87m this time last year and hinted at a potential IPO further down the line.

Volocopter has received a design organisation approval from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. It said it expects to have its first commercial air taxi routes operating within the next two years.

“No other electric air taxi company has publicly performed as many flights in cities around the world, with full regulatory approval, as Volocopter has,” chief executive Florian Reuter said.

“Our VoloCity is the fifth generation of Volocopter aircraft and has a strong path to being the first certified electric air taxi for cities. Volocopter already has the extensive partnerships necessary to set up the UAM [urban air mobility] for launching both our company and the industry into commercial operations.”

The fresh round of funding comes from several investors including funds managed by BlackRock, Avala Capital, Atlantia, Continental AG and Tokyo Century. A number of existing investors, including Intel and Daimler, also backed the round.

“Our shareholder structure remains well balanced with a healthy mix of strategic and financial partners spread as globally as our business ambitions,” Rene Griemens, chief financial officer, said.

Volocopter has carried out several test flights in Helsinki, Stuttgart, Dubai and Singapore over the years and has previously announced plans to launch services in Paris.

Beyond urban flying taxis, the German company is also building VoloDrone, a division that will operate drones for delivering goods.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin