In a press release on Feb. 21, DB Schenker CEO Jochen Thewes said his company is convinced that Volocopter’s technology can “bring transport logistics to the next dimension.”
“DB Schenker has already tested autonomous and electrical vehicles in several innovation projects and in actual operations,” Thewes stated. “By integrating the VoloDrone into our supply chain of the future, we will be able to serve our clients’ demand for fast, remote, emission-neutral deliveries.”
The investment has helped extend Volocopter’s Series C funding round to 87 million euros. Other participants in the latest round include new investors Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, MS&AD Ventures, and TransLink Capital (Japan Airlines and Sompo Japan Insurance), plus existing investors Lukasz Gadowski and btov.
Volocopter said the funding will go towards certification of its VoloCity air taxi, hiring more industry experts, and development of a second-generation VoloDrone to ensure its commercialization. To date, Volocopter has raised 122 million euros in capital.
“The new shareholder structure strengthens our global network of strategic and financial partners significantly,” stated Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter. “Bringing urban air mobility to life for passengers and goods is a great ambition and with our new partners we bring the expertise and necessary long-term funds on board to make this innovative form of mobility a reality.”
With the round’s closing, Volocopter has also appointed DB Schenker’s Thewes and Yifan “Frank” Li, vice president of Geely Holding Group Co, Ltd., to its advisory board. The company is also bringing on two independent advisory board members: former CEO of Daimler AG Dr. Dieter Zetsche, as well as the founder of CAS Software AG, Martin Hubschneider.
Volocopter chairman Stefan Klocke welcomed the new members, noting the board will support management in the company’s further strategic development and “in the preparations for a potential future IPO [initial public offering].”