International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised DB Schenker on its investment in electric air taxi manufacturer, Volocopter GmbH, as part of an EUR 87 million Series C financing round.
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, MS&AD Ventures and TransLink Capital (Japan Airlines and Sompo Japan Insurance) also participated in the round, in addition to existing investors Lukasz Gadowski and btov. The financing will be used to certify its VoloCity aircraft – an autonomous, electrically powered aircraft that takes off and lands vertically. The capital will also be used to hire additional industry experts and to bring to market a second-generation of its cargo-carrying VoloDrone. To date, Volocopter has raised a total of EUR 122 million.
DB Schenker is the leading logistics service provider worldwide: more than 75,800 employees work for the group at more than 2,000 locations in over 130 countries. The company offers land transport, air and sea freight, comprehensive logistics solutions and global supply chain management from a single source. DB Schenker is already testing autonomous and electrically driven vehicles in various projects and in actual operation. “By integrating the VoloDrone into our future supply chains, we will be able to meet our customers’ demand for fast, emission-neutral delivery, even in hard-to-reach locations. We are thrilled to be part of this innovation push and to join this fantastic team,” says Jochen Thewes, Chairman of the Management Board of DB Schenker.
Volocopter has more than 150 employees who work for the company in its offices in Bruchsal, Munich and Singapore. Founded in 2011 by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, the company performed the first manned vertical flight of an electrically powered multi-copter in the same year. Since then several public flights have been made with its two-seater Volocopter in its original size. The company’s goal is to build the world’s first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business to establish affordable air taxi services in the world’s megacities. And they are well on the way: the VoloCity is already in the certification process for commercial use and the VoloDrone is active in the logistics and agricultural sectors.
An Osborne Clarke team led by VC/Corporate Counsel Till-Manuel Saur provided DB Schenker with comprehensive advice on the financing. The team also included Nicolas Gabrysch, Philipp Niedermeyer (both VC / Corporate), Dr Sebastian Hack (Antitrust), Dr Johannes Graf Ballestrem, Laura Klein, Stephan Reisner (all IP), Christoph Boeminghaus, Carsten Dau, Gunnar Jommersbach (all Commercial), Dr Hans-Christian Woger, Benjamin Schaum (both IT), Nils-Frederik Wiehmann and Dr Robert Rentsch (both Employment).
In-house DB Schenker was represented by Dr Verena Gattineau (Corporate), Hanno Schaper, Christian Wörz (both Antitrust), Dr Stefan Zenker and Manfred Schulze (both IP).