Zhejiang Geely Holding Group takes a 50% minority stake in German air taxi startup Volocopter.
The venture is expected to be finalized in by the end of the year and is headquartered in China. The two parties have agreed to form a joint venture to bring air taxis and the urban air mobility technology to China.
Founders and individual shareholders Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, remain to be the company’s largest shareholder. Geely led a Series C funding and came up with 50 million euros, hence becoming a minority investor next to strategic investor, Daimler who has been an investor since 2017.
The Volocopter is looking forward to obtaining the commercial certificate issued by the Aviation Safety Authority for the electric flying vehicle. The air taxi’s commercial launch will be in three years.
Geely Holding’s chairman, Li Shifu, said that Geely is investing and developing wide range of next-generation technologies. He believes that Volocopter air taxis is the next big thing in both electrification and new mobility services, as ambitious as it may sound.
The Volocopter, founded in 2011 builds electronically powered air taxis. The Volocopter air taxi is a two-seat flying car, with a flying speed of 110 kilometers per hour in a single range of 35km, which can be used for short-distance travel.
Florian Reuter, CEO belives that urban mobility needs to evolve in the next few years. Hence, the Volocopter air taxis which adds up a whole new level of mobility in the skies. The company looks forward to helping cities transform their transport systems for a more sustainable future.
Volocopter has raised a total of 85 million euros from investors including Daimler, Geely and Intel. It has offices in Bruchsal, Munich and Singapore with more than 150 employees altogether.
Geely also completed the acquisition of US flying-car developer Terrafugia in November 2017. It is a firm founded in 2006 by graduates of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduates of the MIT Sloan School of Management. Its aim is to put a two-seat aircraft that can switch between driving and flying mode on the market this year.