Air Taxi, Unmanned

Shareholders Invest $23 Million in Skyports for Vertiports and Drone Services

At the first close of its Series B round of funding, Skyports received $23 million in investments from new and existing shareholders. (Photo: Hanwha Systems/Skyports)

At the close of its latest funding round, Skyports announced that it had raised $23 million in capital from both new and existing investors. With access to these new funds, Skyports—a provider of infrastructure solutions for advanced air mobility (AAM) and cargo drone deliveries—will be able to accelerate its work in developing and implementing take-off and landing infrastructure in addition to being able to scale operations of its drone services.

The CEO of Skyports, Duncan Walker, remarked that their goal is to be the leading vertiport owner and operator worldwide. “The support of our original investors who have deep experience in aviation and infrastructure and the addition of new capital from world class companies with a global footprint enables us to build the air taxi eco-system alongside our best-in-class vehicle partners for initial operations within a couple of years,” he stated in the company’s announcement.

Another priority for the company is sustainability, and in particular, reducing carbon emissions. The drone services they offer, which include cargo delivery and surveillance solutions, are part of the aviation industry-wide effort to reduce carbon emissions. According to Walker, Skyports’ drone business is expanding, and he sees their competitive advantages as technology development and expertise in regulation and operation of unmanned aircraft.

Existing shareholders Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures, Solar Ventus, Groupe ADP, Irelandia, and Levitate Capital all participated in this Series B round of funding. New investors included the Japanese conglomerate Kanematsu Corporation, the global industrial property group Goodman Group, Italian airport platform 2i Aeroporti (backed by Ardian’s Infrastructure Fund and F2i Italian Infrastructure Fund), and U.S.-based VC firm GreenPoint, according to Skyports. The company will gain two new board members, including a representative from Kanematsu Corporation and the CEO of DHL eCommerce, Ken Allen.

Skyports designs, builds, and operates vertiport networks in major cities to enable air taxi and cargo drone services. (Photo: Skyports)

Towards the end of last year, Skyports announced plans to set up a vertiport in Paris, France, and begin commercial operations in 2024 in time for the Paris Olympics. If successful, this would be the first commercial vertiport in Europe. The Skyports vertiport will feature technologies such as re-charging equipment, weather stations, biometric identity management, and situational awareness capabilities.

Skyports formed a partnership with Eve Urban Air Mobility, a subsidiary of Embraer, in June 2021. Their objective is to create a concept of operations for urban air mobility (UAM) and advance integration of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in Asia and in the Americas. Skyports’ Duncan Walker commented, “Our partnership with Eve paves the way for rapid innovation in UAM, accelerating innovation to meet the growing demand for eVTOL services.”

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