Chinese eVTOL startup Beifly (倍飞智航) recently completed an angel round worth tens of millions of yuan, invested by Casstar alone, Chinese tech media outlet lieyunwang reported.
Proceeds from this round will be used for R&D, test flight and airworthiness certification for Beifly’s 5-seater smaller prototype.
Money will also go to talent recruitment, market expansion and supply chain management, said Jin Gang, chief operating officer of the Zhejiang-based startup.
Commonly referred to as flying car or air taxi, eVTOL has increasingly emerged as a new solution to complement urban air mobility and ease traffic congestion as technologies continue to develop.
Globally, eVTOL startups number over 300, with the funding amount in excess of US$8 billion, according to Morgan Stanley.
At least eight firms involved in the eVTOL sector have listed on US stock exchanges.
They include Chinese players such as AeroHT (小鹏汇天), an affiliate of EV giant XPeng (小鹏, NYSE: XPEV) and EHang (亿航, Nasdaq: EH).
Numerous domestic startups have also entered the space, such as AutoFlight (峰飞), TCab Tech (时的科技) and Vertaxi (御风未来).
Founded in September last year and based in Shangyu of Zhejiang, Beifly is comprised of a group of civil aviation veterans who are dedicated to the design, assembly, certificate acquisition, delivery and marketing of freight and passenger eVTOLs, according to a press release from Beifly.
The startup also will provide post-sale support to clients based on an eVTOL-as-a-service model.
“Beifly has been committed to the R&D of eVTOL for many years, accumulating talent and technological strengths,” said Professor Guo Shijun, technical director of Beifly.
He added the firm has adopted a tilt-rotor structure for its flying cars, which features longer range, higher speed and bigger capacity.
Driven by advances in electrification, autonomous piloting and intelligent technologies, eVTOL has been in the news a lot thanks to its role as an eco-friendly and energy-efficient alternative to traditional aircraft.
By 2040, global advanced air mobility market will likely exceed US$1 trillion, said Morgan Stanley.