Japanese flying car developer SkyDrive raises $37m in Series B

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.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.