Volocopter’s dream of creating personalized air transportation has taken another step forward as the company announced today it has received a $30 million investment led by European automotive giant Daimler.
German entrepreneur Lukasz Gadowski also participated in the funding. The German company said it will use the money to continue development of its electric flying taxis, or electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. The company hopes that the aircraft, which can carry two people, will play an essential role in reinventing urban transportation.
“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,” said Florian Reuter, managing director of Volocopter, in a statement. “We deliberately sought a mix of investors with strategic and entrepreneurial backgrounds and were able to implement this perfectly with Daimler [and] Lukasz Gadowski.”
Volocopter says its mission is to “make every human’s dream of flying come true and to help modern cities resolve their increasing mobility issues.” The company recently announced that it would start demonstrations of its autonomous flying taxis in Dubai in the fourth quarter of this year.
Volocopter said Daimler is a good strategic partner because of its work with autonomous and electric vehicles. The company hopes that Gadowski will advise it on how to scale as it moves toward a launch of the flying taxis.
The company said the next step is to develop the Volocopter so it is ready for production and deployment worldwide. To do that, it will be hiring more engineers to accelerate work on things like the flight system and software. In addition, Volocopter is going to begin marketing to develop its brand.
The first licensed Volocopter should be on the market within the next year, the company said.