Investment in Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aerial vehicle technology will see rapid growth which is projected to make the sector touch $2 billion in 2021 with several advanced cities in the world, including Dubai, planning to launch air taxi services by next year.
During the first six months of 2020, the urban air mobility (UAM) market received nearly $900 million in investments. A new survey with senior private equity and venture capital professionals reveals that about 59 percent of its interviewees expected that over $2 billion will be invested in the sector this year. Some 41 percent predict the figure will be over $3 billion, and 16 percent think it will be more than $4 billion, according to research commissioned by Horizon Aircraft.
In Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has made much headway with its Autonomous Air Vehicle Project. Last year, RTA signed an agreement with Dubai Air Navigation Services to map out sky lanes for flying taxis and drones across the city. The move is part of Dubai’s Self-Driving Transport Strategy drive that envisions by 2030, 25 percent of all trips will be fully autonomous.
“The eVTOL market is predicted to enjoy rapid growth over the next few years, and by 2050 there could be 160,000 commercial air taxis or more operating around the world, generating over $90-billion a year in revenue. This coupled with the fact that the sector is incredibly dynamic and fast-moving, means it is attracting a huge amount of interest from investors. We expect this trend to continue.”
Further, the research reveals that over the next three years, 62 percent of private equity and venture capital professionals expect to see increased use in SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies), to buy, invest or raise funds for eVTOL companies.
Around 64 percent of private equity and venture capital professionals who took part in the research stressed the fact that more large corporations have entered the sector, providing greater confidence around its prospects. This was followed by 58 percent who cite more M&A activity in the sector, and the listing of eVTOL companies with attractive valuations, and the third most popular key reason highlighted by 37 percent of survey respondents are growing public confidence in the market.
Horizon Aircraft is a Canadian custom aerospace engineering company that has developed the Cavorite X5, the world’s first eVTOL that can fly the majority of its mission exactly like a normal aircraft. Early this year, Astro Aerospace, a global leader in eVTOL aerial vehicles and drones, entered a binding agreement to acquire Horizon Aircraft.