FRANKFURT -- German air taxi startup Volocopter said on Monday it had raised 50 million euros ($55 million) in a round of funding led by China's Geely Holding as it seeks to begin operating the aircraft service within three years.
Volocopter is developing electrically powered air taxis that can take off and land vertically, enabling passengers in mega cities to dodge traffic jams on the streets and reach destinations more quickly.
In addition to the third wave of investment, Geely and Volocopter are forming a joint venture to bring urban air mobility to the Chinese market.
The Chinese automotive group joins Germany's Daimler in backing Volocopter, which said the latest funding round would remain open as it seeks further backers. The company has raised a total of 85 million euros from investors so far.
The investment is not Geely's first bet on flying machines. It is building a plant in China's central city of Wuhan to make Terrafugia branded flying cars, company documents show.
Geely bought a 9.7 percent stake in Daimler in 2018. The companies have said they plan to build the next generation of Smart electric cars in China through a joint venture. They also plan to form a premium ride-hailing joint venture in China.