TCab Tech raises $20 million for flying taxis

skift take

A lot of money is being invested in the development of flying taxis. This week’s feature focuses on the Middle East and Asia.

Justin Dawes

Flying taxis raised hundreds of millions of dollars last year and will continue to do so in 2024. Some taxis are further along in development than others, but the ones introduced this week have already begun testing.

Four travel tech startups announced funding totaling nearly $86 million last week.

TCab Technology: $20 million

TCab Tech, which is testing its own flying taxi, has raised $20 million as part of a Series A round.

The $20 million comes from a “strategic investment fund” that plans to bring the plane to the Middle East.

The TCab aircraft is considered an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, with five seats and a cruising speed of 162 miles per hour (260 kilometers per hour). It is designed to fly up to 124 miles (200 km) in a single flight.

The company first test-flew the aircraft in November last year.

China-based TCab aims to sell the product primarily in fast-growing regions such as China, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, where flying taxis are available for tourism and intercity travel.

The funding will be used to accelerate development, certification and commercialization.

Blueground: $45 million

Furnished rental company Blueground has raised $45 million in Series D funding.

Investors include Susquehanna Private Equity Investments and WestCap.

Blueground also said it secured debt from Barclays with participation from Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and HSBC. This debt replaces his previous $40 million loan to Silicon Valley Bank.

The company has now raised more than $240 million in equity.

New York City-based Blueground operates 15,000 furnished rentals for stays of 30 days or more in 32 cities. Customers include individuals and their more than 4,000 companies.

Blueground’s technology platform allows clients to digitally view and book apartments online and communicate with operators during their stay.

The company announced that it has signed five franchise agreements in the past six months. These include a business plan in Japan in partnership with Mitsubishi Real Estate and a business plan in Thailand with Schick Republic Public Company Limited.

Blueground announced 2023 revenue of $560 million, an increase of 70% from 2022. The company said it expects to generate $1 billion in revenue within the next two years.

The new funding will be used to accelerate the company’s technology development and growth.

Embers: $13.9 million

Ember has raised $13.9m (£11m) in Series A funding to build a fleet of electric buses for intercity travel.

The funding was co-led by Inven Capital, AENU and 2150, with support from Pale Blue Dot and SkyScanner co-founder Gareth Williams.

Ember has a fleet of 24 vehicles in 20 Scottish towns without public transport and is building a network of chargers for electric buses. The bus can travel up to 186 miles (300 kilometers) on a single trip and takes just over two hours to charge.

The company also has proprietary software for business operations such as digital ticketing, live bus tracking for users, route optimization and vehicle utilization.

The funds will be used to improve technology, expand the network and increase charging capacity.

Moonware: $7 million

Moonware, a platform aimed at streamlining airport ground operations, has raised $7 million in seed funding.

Third Prime and Zero Infinity Partners jointly led the round, with support from The House Fund, Lorimer Ventures, and private investors.

Los Angeles-based Moonware said its system streamlines the tasks ground personnel must complete between a plane’s landing and takeoff. The startup has customers at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.

The funds will be used for research and development and employment.

company stage lead increase
TCab Tech Series A Unpublished 20 million dollars
blue ground Series D Unspecified $45 million
embers Series A Inven Capital, AENU, and 2150 $13.9 million
moon wear seed Third Prime and Zero Infinity Partners 7 million dollars

Skift cheat sheet

seed Capital is the money used to start a business, often led by angel investors, friends, and family.

Series A Funding is usually raised from venture capitalists. The round is aimed at helping startup founders make sure their product is something customers actually want to buy.

Series B Funding is primarily aimed at venture capitalist companies to help companies grow faster. These funding rounds will help recruit skilled labor and develop cost-effective marketing.

Series C Financing is typically aimed at supporting a company’s expansion, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.

Series D, E and later These mostly mature businesses and funding rounds can help companies prepare to go public or be acquired. Different types of retail investors may participate.

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