by Michael Willoughby
Skyports, the urban air mobility infrastructure provider and drone delivery operator, has raised £5.35 million in Series A funding.
Jointly led by Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures (DBDV) and Groupe ADP, the round also includes significant new investment from Levitate Capital following their seed investment in the company in January 2018.
This capital allows Skyports to continue its programme of acquiring sites for passenger and cargo vertiports in cities around the world, including Singapore and Los Angeles. Following the Singapore showcase of the world’s first passenger vertiport in October – the VoloPort – in partnership with air taxi manufacturer Volocopter, Skyports has received substantial interest from landlords in the city state and other cities around the world.
Skyports also plans to further develop its drone delivery business. Building on its acquisition of multiple drone platforms to suit operations in urban and rural environments, Skyports will expand the team for full commercialisation of its delivery services.
“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.”
“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,” said Edward Arkwright, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Groupe ADP. “This strategic partnership will allow us to develop a deeper understanding of the emerging VTOL market and will provide strong synergies through Skyports’ expertise in urban areas.”
The urban aviation market is anticipated to be worth c. $1.5 trillion by 2040, $850 billion of which will be taken up by passenger vehicles and $400 billion by the transportation of goods by drone. Significant investment has gone into the vehicles and research and development enabling technology whilst urban air mobility (UAM) infrastructure is under-invested. Without the take-off and landing infrastructure in place, the nascent UAM industry will fail to realise its market and socio-economic potential.
DBDV and Groupe ADP will take seats on the Skyports Board. Skyports has the option for a second close in the Series A round in the near future.
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