German aircraft manufacturer Volocopter has closed the first round of Series C funding led by Chinese automotive group Zhejiang Geely to commercialise the VoloCity air taxi.

The €50m funding round also included the participation of new and existing investors from Europe, America, and Asia.

The financing is expected to help Volocopter in moving the VoloCity into commercial operations in the next three years.

Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter said: “Urban mobility needs to evolve in the next few years to meet rising demand. With our Volocopter air taxis, we are adding a whole new level of mobility in the skies.

“This funding round is allowing us to take great strides towards bringing Urban Air Mobility to life whilst being respectful of our shareholder’s money.”

Founded in 2011, Volocopter specialises in developing electrically powered air taxis.

The company secured €35m in funding to build three generations of Volocopter aircraft. Two of Volocopter aircraft have also received permits to perform manned and unmanned flights.

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The second round of funding is expected to close by the end of this year.

Zhejiang Geely Holdings chairman Li Shufu said: “Geely is transitioning from being an automotive manufacturer to a mobility technology group, investing in and developing a wide range of next-generation technologies.

“Our latest cooperation with Daimler, building on our partnership in smart and premium ride-hailing services, as well as our joint venture with Volocopter underlines our confidence in Volocopter air taxis as the next ambitious step in our wider expansion in both electrification and new mobility services.”

Furthermore, the company said that its electrically powered vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) completed a flight at Helsinki International Airport.