AutoFlight, an eVTOL aircraft developer headquartered in Shanghai, has secured US$100 million in its Series A funding from Berlin tech holding company Team Global. Capital from the financing is earmarked for international expansion, as well as scaling cargo eVTOL production.
“We are very proud and excited to partner with such an amazing company as AutoFlight, its fantastic team, and its founder, Tian Yu,” said Lukasz Gadowski, founder and CEO of Team Global, in a press release. The technology investor was also appointed to AutoFlight’s board of director. “Autonomous air mobility is an emerging industry ready to grow, and I am convinced that AutoFlight will be one of its big players.”
The Chinese company develops autonomous eVTOL, including large payload logistics and autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles. A company representative told eVTOL.com that the V1500M, a lift-plus-cruise autonomous passenger eVTOL aircraft, completed its first test flight at the end of October in Shanghai, but the company is not able to share images or videos from the test flight.
“We tested the vertical take-off and landing functions, and it works really good,” said Jack Xu, chief marketing officer at AutoFlight. “I think the transition test will happen soon.”
The company said it has logged more than 10,000 take-offs and landings across its various prototypes, and has tested its aircraft in extreme weather conditions. Last month, the company confirmed key specifications of its V1500M air taxi. The winged aircraft is targeting a fully loaded range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) and a cruise speed of 200 km/h (125 mph).
“We are determined to unlock the skies for mass individual transport through the air,” said Tian Yu, founder, chair, and CEO of AutoFlight. The company is gearing up for additional test flights, and plans to have its eVTOL certified by 2024.
Team Global said it has stakes in a dozen startups in the aviation sector around the world, including drones, flight control, and air taxis. Along with AutoFlight, Team Global is also backing Volocopter and Archer.