Flying Taxis Coming Soon?
Volocopter recently secured an additional $182 million to develop its electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, or eVTOLs. In other words: helicopter taxis.
This sci-fi-ready German startup is in the midst of its Series E funding round after raising another $170 million at the beginning of the year. This brings its total valuation to $1.87 billion.
Now that it’s strapped with fresh cash, Volocopter has its foot on the gas — or rather electric accelerator — and is racing to get its heli-taxis operational and approved.
Volocopter Takes Flight
In order to get its eVTOLs out on the streets, Volocopter is taking the opposite approach to Bird Global (BRDS).
Bird notoriously released hundreds of electric scooters onto the streets of SoCal cities without any announcement or warning. It then spent the following months dealing with city guidelines, fines, and even lawsuits. Since flying heli-taxes are a touch more intense than scooters, Volocopter is making sure its ducks are in a row before it takes off.
Currently, the company is working to ensure its aircrafts follow strict requirements by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. It aims to win certification by the second half of 2023 and start launching paid rides in 2024.
Volocopter will also use its fresh funds to build air travel infrastructure, raise public awareness, and perhaps even coordinate with the local pigeon authorities to avoid collisions.
Launching Near You?
Despite being a German startup, Volocopter will most likely launch in the tech-centric city of Singapore first. Rome and Paris are other potential options.
Volocopter’s expansion is surely a matter of regulatory approval at this stage. However, once citizens of one city experience the rush of soaring over gridlock traffic, it’s likely others will flock to Volocopter soon enough.
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