London-based Skyports, the urban air mobility startup and drone delivery operator, has raised just over £5 million in Series A funding. Jointly led by Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures (DBDV) and Groupe ADP, the round also includes a fresh infusion from Levitate Capital following their seed investment nearly two years ago.
There’s a lot of buzz around urban air mobility (UAM); the market is estimated to be worth around $1.5 trillion by 2040. But the focus is largely on vehicles and technology development, without much attention paid to the infrastructure that is necessary to execute UAM and fulfil its potential.
That’s where Skyports comes in. The UK company develops take-off and landing infrastructure (called “vertiports”), as well as a drone delivery business.
The new investment will go toward 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 there and in other cities around the world. The company will also develop its drone delivery business. Having just acquired multiple drone platforms suited for both 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, Skyports CEO. “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.”
Edward Arkwright of Groupe ADP, the international airport operator, commented: “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. 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.”