Japan’s flying car developer SkyDrive has raised 3.9 billion yen (approximately $37 million) in its Series B funding round from a group of investors including Development Bank of Japan and Itochu Corporation, according to an announcement.
STRIVE, formerly known as Gree Ventures, also participated in this round along with Obayashi Corporation, NEC Corporation, Eneos Innovation Partners, Itochu’s venture capital arm Itochu Technology Ventures, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, among others.
SkyDrive was established in July 2018 mainly by members of CARTIVATOR, a pro-bono organization developing a flying car (e-VTOL) since 2014.
SkyDrive CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa said that the new investment will allow the company to continue the development of the SD-03 eVTOL.
He said the company will accelerate its technological and business development of flying cars and cargo drones to build a society with safe, secure, and comfortable air mobility solutions.
“We expect to expand our cargo drone service to urban areas in 2022 and beyond and to that end we will vigorously step up our efforts to build safe and secure aircraft and create the necessary service network to support that expansion,” he added.
The company targets to start its sales in 2023 and mass production in 2026.
“The “eVTOL” business as a harbinger of revolution in the sky. We are a step closer to what seemed like a distant dream now that ten new companies have joined forces. Development Bank of Japan will work with the stakeholders to help SkyDrive become a company that is widely embraced by public by staying tuned to its commitment to realize a secure, safe and comfortable social infrastructure,” said Yuki Takemori, general manager, innovation promotion office, business planning & coordination department, Development Bank of Japan Inc.
Last year, local media reported that SkyDrive secured 1.5 billion yen (about $13.9 million). The investment round saw the participation of investors including Drone Fund, Z Corporation (investment arm of Yahoo Japan), Strive, Itochu Technology Ventures, and Energy & Environment Investment.