Tabuk, Saudi Arabia: Neom has announced a $175 million Series E investment in Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility. The land of the future giga-project will take a significant equity stake in the company as part of its strategic engagement with the global eVTOL industry, positioning it as a leader in future mobility solutions.
The Saudi Gazette, citing the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), reported that the deal will expand Neom’s strategic partnership with Volocopter "to progress an advanced air mobility industry in Saudi Arabia, in line with Neom’s cutting-edge strategy for its mobility sector".
It builds on the Neom-Volocopter joint venture launched in December 2021, which will operate electric air taxi services in Neom to connect various regions including THE LINE, OXAGON and TROJENA.
Neom Chief Executive Officer Nadhmi Al-Nasr said: “This crucial investment aligns with the ambitious plans announced by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, chairman of Neom’s Board of Directors, for the Kingdom to achieve sustainability and to develop NEOM into an accelerator of human progress.
“It will contribute to taking humanity closer to a new era of mobility — an era defined by zero-emission, electrically-powered vertical takeoff and landing vehicles. Together with the Kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation, Neom and Volocopter will make concepts like air taxis an everyday reality for its residents and visitors.
“Powerful partnerships such as the one that Neom is cultivating with pioneering companies like Volocopter will fuel giant leaps forward — not just for the benefit of Neom and the Kingdom — but for all.”
Urban air mobility
Dirk Hoke, CEO at Volocopter, added: "This is the first time in history that eVTOLs, with their unique characteristics, are being factored into the design of a region that is being built from scratch. This offers a whole new approach to how urban air mobility can increase quality of life in cities.
“Neom's investment bears testament to our leading position as a technology pioneer in the race to become the first company to break into the emerging urban air mobility market."
Neom’s unique regional development provides a global living lab for advancing and embedding electric urban air mobility in a multi-modal sustainable transport system.
Cutting-edge electric mobility
Being built from the ground up, Neom offers the ideal environment for trialing cutting-edge electric mobility solutions on land, in the air and at sea. In addition to Neom, Volocopter has launched partnerships and offers its services in global cities that include Paris, Singapore and Rome, as well as in China.
In close collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Neom and Volocopter are implementing a national test bed for Saudi Arabia to enable the integration of eVTOLs with zero-emission future urban mobility.
Electric air taxis are a key component of NEOM’s mission to implement a truly sustainable and seamlessly connected multi-modal mobility system powered by 100% renewable energy.
Overall, Neom will invest in eVTOL fleets, operations and infrastructure to localize industry innovation.