Autoflight has received $100M from “Team Global”, a technology holding led by high profile German/Polish tech entrepreneur Lukasz Gadowski, to fund the development of its safe, clean, quiet and affordable air taxi.
The funding will also be used to expand its current business and initiate the development and certification of a passenger variant according to European (EASA) safety standards. Currently, AutoFlight’s team of approximately 300 people is responsible for the development and manufacturing of its cargo eVTOL (electric vertical take off and landing) aircraft; the company claims its workforce will double within the coming 12 months to support the additional efforts.
AutoFlight plans to initiate a certification program according to European Aviation Safety Association (EASA) standards via the establishment of a European subsidiary, likely to be located in southern Germany. While AutoFlight is headquartered in Shanghai, the startup also runs a passenger flight control system research center in Europe, and an operation and test center in the U.S. The company owns a diversified eVTOL product mix, with a focus on large scale logistic aircraft and autonomous passenger aerial vehicles. Investor Team Global is based in Berlin and has already backed numerous air taxi companies, including Volocopter and Zapata Racing in Europe, Archer in the USA, and now AutoFlight in Asia.
“We are very proud and happy to join such an amazing company like AutoFlight with a fantastic team and a great founder. Air mobility is a beautiful nascent industry ready to grow. No need to build more roads – that preserves resources and nature and makes our cities more livable” said Lukasz Gadowski.
“Welcome Lukasz. That’s a big step for our company. Team Global will help us to expand R&D, certification and operation globally“, according to Tian Yu, Chairman and CEO of AutoFlight. “At AutoFlight, we are determined to unlock the skies for mass individual transport in air. Just in the past month, our autonomous passenger eVTOL proof of concept aircraft V1500M has accomplished its maiden flight.”
Tian Yu: “The AutoFlight eVTOL aircraft is designed to be safe & safer, clean & quiet, affordable & available, comfortable & pleasant. To fulfill and deliver this vision the colleagues from AutoFlight worked hard over the years and settled on a configuration and business model we believe is best suited for the above requirements. The basis of this design is a so-called ‘lift and cruise’ configuration – that combines superior range and safety with the advantages of low complexity and thus high affordability and certifiability to the highest standards of aviation safety.”
Why it’s important: AutoFlight is a highly globalized company, headquartered in Shanghai, with a passenger flight control system research center in Europe, an operation and test center in the U.S. The company owns a diversified eVTOL product mix, with a focus on large scale logistic aircraft and autonomous passenger aerial vehicles. Rapid broadening of its geographical footprint, along with successful funding rounds, will serve AutoFlight well as it continues to expand in an effort to commercialize its product across the globe.