Germany-based firm Volocopter has raised a capital of $170m in the initial signing of its Series E funding round to support the commercial launch of its electric passenger air taxi in first cities globally.

The funding round was led by South Korean investor WP Investment at a pre-money valuation of $1.7bn.

WP Investment chairman Dr Lei Wang said: “We are confident that Volocopter will be among the first to bring UAM to cities globally, since seeing its aircraft fly in Seoul last year. As a leader in ESG investment, we are excited to empower city sustainability through Volocopter.”

Other new and existing investors also participated in the funding round.

New investors include Honeywell while the existing investors that were part of the funding round include Atlantia, Whysol, and btov Partners.

Volocopter will also use the capital raised for the certification of its electric passenger air taxi.

Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter said: “This funding round is a testament to Volocopter’s leading position in what is a highly attractive emerging market.

“We continue to make significant technical and commercial progress as we work toward bringing urban air mobility to life at scale in cities worldwide.”

Volocopter is said to be the first electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company to receive the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Design Organisation Approval (DOA).

The company plans to launch its commercial air taxi services in cities such as Singapore, Rome and Paris.

In November last year, Volocopter carried out the first crewed test flight of its air taxi in South Korea’s Seoul. The five-minute test flight was conducted at Gimpo International Airport (GMP).