AutoFlight has received a $100 million investment from European technology investor Lukasz Gadowski (Team Global), who also becomes a partner at the Chinese startup.
Gadowski’s company has stakes in around a dozen startups in the aviation sector worldwide – including drones and flight control in addition to air taxis. The financing will be used to evolve AutoFlight’s cargo-vehicles into passenger-carrying aircraft.
To that effect, a certification program according to European Aviation Safety Association (EASA) standards will be initiated. The company will establish a European subsidiary, which likely will be located in southern Germany.
Tian Yu, Chairman and CEO of AutoFlight, said: “Welcome Lukasz. That’s a big step for our company. Team Global will help us to expand R&D, certification and operation globally. 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.”
AutoFlight is one of the earliest tech companies in China to start making autonomous eVTOL, including large payload logistic and autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Logistic UAVs were introduced first. AutoFlight has now accumulated nearly 10,000 takeoff and landing flights and has been tested in all kinds of extreme conditions.
Yu added: “The AutoFlight evtol aircraft is designed to be safe & safer, clean & quiet, affordable & available, comfortable & pleasant. To fulfil 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.”
The European Tech holding company Team Global, based in Berlin, has systematically built up expertise in aviation over the past few years, gradually expanding its portfolio to about a dozen investments worldwide.
In Europe, Team Global is backing Volocopter and Zapata Racing in Europe, Archer in the USA and now AutoFlight in Asia. Additionally, there are investments in technology companies developing components for next generation aviation and clean energy companies – in energy generation (Seaborg, HB11, Enpal) and energy storage (Theion).
Gadowski. added: “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.”
AutoFlight specialises in developing and manufacturing autonomous aerial vehicles. AutoFlight’s mission is to provide safe and reliable aerial logistic systems and urban air mobility solutions for human society. It is headquartered in Shanghai, with a passenger flight control system research centre in Europe and operation and test centre in the USA. The company owns a diversified eVTOL product mix, with a focus on large scale logistic aircraft and autonomous passenger aerial vehicles.
Yu added: “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 + 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.”