Ehang considers more funding in lead up to launch

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Ehang is considering additional financing in the lead up to the launch of the Ehang 184 passenger drone.

At the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media &Telecom Conference in Beijing, CNBC reported, Ehang CFO Richard Liu as saying that the company was “considering” additional financing and looking for new investors, despite having filed for bankruptcy in the US in May.

The conference has brought together more than 250 public and private companies and more than 1,200 investors to discuss investment opportunities in the tech, media and telecommunications sector.

The company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year but the Mr Liu said that the company is still “on track” to achieving profitability by the end of 2019.

The company first made the headlines in the VTOL space at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2016 when it first revealed its Ehang 184 prototype. Commercial sales of the Ehang 184 are scheduled to start at the end of 2018 or early 2019.

When we spoke to Ehang in June, Ehang’s CEO, Derrick Xiong, said the company was getting most of its money from venture capital investors through Series A and B funding. Some of the company’s biggest investors include GP Capital, GGV Capital and ZhenFund.

Mr Xiong told VTOL Investor: “We are getting a lot of our money from venture capital investors. Unlike a lot of others in the VTOL space, we have complete product lines in our DroneSwarm and GhostDrone products…

“The money we get from these products is going back into helping develop the Ehang passenger drone. Right now, we are figuring out who our partners are that share the same goal as us and can help us move towards developing a commercial passenger drone market.”

This year, Ehang is focusing on regular public flight demos to gain interest and see how best to monetise the aircraft. Unlike other passenger VTOL manufacturers, Ehang is not targeting one particular demographic to sell its VTOL to but is testing the waters to see where the interest in its aircraft lies.