Volocopter receives Series E funding from Sumitomo Corporation


A digital rendering of the VoloCity in flight over Tokyo. (credit: Volocopter)

Volocopter has received Series E funding from Japanese trading house, Sumitomo Corporation and concurrent type certification from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB).

Sumitomo will also become a strategic partner for entry into service in the Japanese market which Volocopter has planned for 2025. A plan that has been boosted following JCAB’s acceptance of the OEM’s application for concurrent type certification (TC) of the VoloCity aircraft.

Christian Bauer, chief commercial officer, Volocopter, said: “Committing to fly and enter a market is no small feat, but for Volocopter and Japan, who are both pioneers in the UAM space, it just makes sense. Over the past few years, Volocopter has made significant progress toward becoming an integral part of the team that will bring UAM to life in Japan in 2025, thanks to partners like Sumitomo, EASA, and JCAB who share our vision. I cannot wait to see the public reaction to the VoloCity air taxi being unveiled in Osaka for the first time.”

Volocopter is currently flight testing and is on target to certify the VoloCity with EASA in 2024. The firm is pursuing concurrent validation with three non-European civil aviation authorities: JCAB, the FAA and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

Patrick Ky, executive director of EASA, said: “This is an important milestone in the development of relations between Japan and Europe in the field of new aviation technologies. EASA is proud partnering with Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and support the development of the UAM industry in Japan and share with JCAB its experience with its SC-VTOL regulations in the certification process of VoloCity.”   

To increase public awareness and acceptance of eVTOLs in Japan, Volocopter is showcasing its full-scale static model of the VoloCity from 8th to 12th March. The event will take place at the shopping mall, Grand Front Osaka. Since late 2022, Volocopter is also hosting UAM knowledge sessions for elementary school children in some Osaka city wards.