Skyport raises £5.35m to build air taxi infrastructure




Landing infrastructure and drone delivery company Skyport has raised £5.35m in Series A funding to help create infrastructure for Volocopter’s planned air-taxi service.

The funding round is led by Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures (DBDV) and Groupe ADP and includes a significant investment from Levitate Capital, a returning investor that had already contributed to a seed investment in Skyport in January 2018.

Both DBDV and ADP personnel will take seats on the Skyport board. Skyport has the option for a second close in the Series A round in the near future.

It will use the cash to acquire new sites for passenger and cargo vertiports in cities across the world, as well as expanding its Singapore and Los Angeles infrastructure. On top of this, Skyports is also planning to develop its drone cargo-delivery business by acquiring multiple drone platforms both for urban and for rural environments.

“We are delighted to welcome strategic investors with a long-term vision for the company,” said Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports.

“Our investors bring expertise in mobility, infrastructure and airport operations. Their significant balance sheets and strong leadership in their respective markets allow Skyports to consolidate its leading position in the industry in these early stages and through to permanent commercial operations in multiple markets.”

Skyport recently celebrated the unveiling of its first vertiport at the Intelligent Transport Systems conference at the World Congress in Singapore. This marks the first step towards the goals of Skyport and Volocopters to launch a full-scale joint venture air-taxi infrastructure and service within the next four years.

Edward Arkwright, deputy chief executive officer of Groupe ADP, said: “Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles are a new expression of airport activity – infrastructure, vehicle handling and passenger experience – and we are setting ourselves up to play a leading role in the development of Urban Air Mobility in the Paris Region and internationally through our 25 airports worldwide.

“This strategic partnership will allow us to develop a deeper understanding of the emerging VTOL market and will provide strong synergies through Skyport’s expertise in urban areas.”

Getting Global

The joint venture is looking to bring its air taxi service international. And to help achieve this, Volocopter received design organisation approval (DOA) from EASA last week, becoming the first eVTOL manufacturer to do so. The approval recognises that Volocopter is performing in a safe manner.

Jan-Hendrik Boelens, CTO and head of design organization of Volocopter said: “Receiving this seal of approval from EASA is testament to our rigorously professional processes, world-class team, and devotion to safety here at Volocopter. Design Organisation Approval is a crucial step towards receiving commercial certification and brings air taxis ever closer!” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.