The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

South Korean Investor WP and Honeywell Back Volocopter in $170 Million Funding Round

South Korea’s WP Investments, along with Honeywell and previous investor Atlantis, are the main backers for a $170 million Series E funding round for eVTOL aircraft developer Volocopter. The Germany-based start-up announced the fresh investment on Friday, reporting that it has now raised a total of $579 million.
The funds will support Volocopter’s efforts to bring the two-seat VoloCity vehicle to market, as well as to complete the development of its VoloDrone autonomous freighter and the larger VoloConnect passenger aircraft. They will also be used for work aimed at establishing the first air taxi services, probably from 2024, in several cities expected to include Singapore, Rome, and Paris.
Under the March 4 agreement, Seoul-based WP Investments will launch a joint venture with Volocopter to develop passenger flights in South Korea. “We are confident that Volocopter will be among the first to bring urban air mobility to cities globally since seeing its aircraft fly in Seoul last year,” said WP’s chairman Lei Wang. “As a leader in ESG investment, we are excited to empower city sustainability through Volocopter.”
According to Volocopter, the first commitments for its Series E funding round give the company a pre-money valuation of $1.7 billion. Unlike several rival eVTOL manufacturers, Volocopter has not so far pursued an initial public offering via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, preferring to court strategic investors instead.
Recently, Volocopter reached a financing agreement in principle with Aviation Capital Group that it said will “shape” the sale and leasing of aircraft for up to $1 billion. “Once aircraft certification has been achieved, this agreement will allow Volocopter to offer its operating entities and customers worldwide attractive leasing options, [which is] a key to rapidly scaling the business in the future,” it explained in today’s announcement.
“Our successful first signing of Series E brings phenomenal new investors on board, with further [investors] in the due diligence stage,” commented Volocopter chairman Stefan Klocke. “This private funding round allows us to stay focused on our mission to bring sustainable urban air mobility to life. We have never been in a stronger position: we are financially diversified, certification is within reach and we are demonstrating our advanced capabilities by public flights and strong joint ventures around the world.”
In addition to venture capital group Atlantis, other existing investors supporting the Series E round include Btov Partners and Whysol. New backer Honeywell Aerospace has been actively pursuing a leadership role in the AAM sector, providing technology to several aircraft developers, including propulsion systems, fly-by-wire controls, and cockpit displays.
The company says it is the first in the advanced air mobility sector to receive design organization approval from EASA.