Gadowski invests in Shanghai air taxi start-up Autoflight

Team Europe, led by investor Lukas Gadowski, is giving $100 million to Autoflight. The Shanghai-based start-up wants to set up a team in Munich to launch air taxis in Europe as well.

Just this year, investor Lukas Gadowski returned with his incubator Team Europe, and now he's announcing his investment in Shanghai-based air taxi company Autoflight. As the Handelsblatt reports, $100 million is going to Autoflight. For Gadowski, it's the third air taxi startup in his portfolio. The money is not going directly to the company, but to an offshore shell in the Cayman Islands. That's a precautionary move by the Chinese company, which apparently some listed companies in China are taking. They cite the Chinese government's strict regulation on holdings by foreign companies and investors as the reason. They are never allowed to let more than 50 percent out of their hands.

For Gadowski, Autoflight, founded by Yu Tian, is his largest single investment to date. "I've heard over the past three years what Tian has promised and achieved. And what others have announced and accomplished. This has created confidence," Gadowski says, describing his decision. In addition to Autoflight, he has also invested in Volocopter from Germany and Archer from the US.

Autoflight has existed since 2017 and today employs 360 people. The startup already has an unmanned drone flying in China. Its autonomous flying taxi is a four-seater and is in the testing phase. Yu's plan for his company now is to build a factory near Shanghai and hire a team in Munich to take care of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification. There are also plans to set up a subsidiary in North America.


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