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Flying car innovator XPeng Huitian raises over $500 million in Series A round

October 19, 2021 9:52 pm

According to a news release on the WeChat account of XPeng Huitian, or HT Aero, the startup company has raised $500 million in series A round of fundraising. The investment was led by IDG Capital, 5Y Capital, and Xpeng. 

Sequoia China, Eastern Bell Capital, GGV Capital, GL Ventures and Yunfeng Capital also participated in this round.

The fresh capital will be used for R&D, recruiting top talents and investing in gaining airworthiness certifications. “The products are to be launched in 2024,” Zhao Deli, the president of XPeng Huitian, said in the statement.

Backed by XPeng, a Chinese electric vehicle and technology company founded in 2014, XPeng Huitian focuses on urban air mobility (UAM), which envisions a safe and efficient aviation system to transport passengers or cargo at lower altitudes within urban and suburban areas.

In the arena of the low-altitude flying vehicle space, the financing was the biggest single investment in Asia, the company says.

“XPeng’s exploration to future transportation is not limited to smart vehicles. We’ve seen revolutionary changes in information, energy and other industrial areas. The ideas related to mobility will be integrated and we’ll embrace the opportunities in our generation.” He Xiaopeng, CEO of XPeng said.

Xiaopeng Huitian’s latest news came in last month. The Guangzhou-based company unveiled future urban usage scenarios for its fifth-generation flying vehicle XPeng X2, including autonomous flight take-off and landing for specific city scenarios, charging and flight control.

The company has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. It also has a research center and a lab in Silicon Valley, with nearly 500 members of staff.

According to CITIC Securities’ data, as of February 2020, there were over 160 flying car companies based mainly in the US and Europe. Most of the products were in trial period, with few vehicles booked and delivered on time. But it’s estimated that the industry will reach $1.5 trillion valuation by 2040.

Last June, Terrafugia, a flying car developer owned by Geely, released the appearance of the TF-2A’s prototype and said the aircraft’s full-scale vehicle will be launched before long.

Companies including South Korea’s Hyundai, and Guangzhou-based Ehang are also developing flying vehicles.