Kanematsu Enters New Investment and Business Alliance With UK Venture Skyports to Explore Advanced Air Mobility Infrastructure Development and Operation and Drone Delivery

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March 24th, 2022


Kanematsu Corporation ("Kanematsu") is excited to announce its entry into a new investment and business alliance ("new alliance") with Skyports, a UK venture exploring development and operation of AAM(Advanced Air Mobility) landing and takeoff infrastructures known as Vertiports, and a world leader in the drone delivery field, including a basic agreement to establish a joint venture company by 2024 to manage joint development and operation inside Japan.

Both companies will act as exclusive partners inside Japan to accelerate joint initiatives towards the Vertiport project and drone delivery services.

Since Kanematsu and Skyports entered into MOU in 2020, joint domestic market research have been conducted to investigate construction of the Vertiport network and start of drone delivery services. Based on these activities and industrial trends for AAM and drones in the domestic and international markets, this new alliance was reached as a result of investment following capital increase through third-party allocation by Skyports.


eVTOL(electric vertical and take off landing) aircraft is known as aircraft for Advanced Air Mobility featuring electric power, vertical takeoff and landing, autonomous flight, low noise pollution, and low cost. Highly anticipated as a new form of transportation in the era of decarbonization, Advanced Air Mobility is expected to become a reality within only a few years' time to fulfill a variety of applications from passenger transport to commercial logistics. Vertiports are essential infrastructure for AAM for takeoff and landing, charging batteries, and terminal facilities, which offer a combination of ground safety control and maintenance, and services to both passengers and cargo. The joint venture established by Kanematsu and Skyports will prepare for the application of AAM through construction and operation of Vertiports, and the promotion of initiatives to expand the network of AAM in target regions.

Meanwhile, Japan is expected to allow drone flights "without a pilot in populated areas (third party airspace) BVLOS (beyond visual line-of-sight (Level 4))" by the end of 2022, which is expected to be followed by a rapid expansion of usage in diverse applications, including improved quality-of-life through drone delivery services. In the future, the AAM industry is also anticipated to benefit from wisdom and know-how gained from drone usage.

The construction and operation of Vertiports and start of drone delivery services is expected to create synergy through sharing of know-how, experience, and technology that will lead to a dramatic expansion in joint business areas of Kanematsu and Skyports.

Kanematsu will promote joint business development through its alliance with Skyports to accelerate initiatives for AAM and drones, while contributing to innovation in the aviation industry, accessible air travel, logistics development, lifestyle quality and local development, and environmental measures for mobility.


【Company profile of Skyports Ltd.】

Name Skyports Limited
Established 2017
Main Office London, UK
CEO Duncan Walker
Business

1. Vertiport design, construction, and operations

2. Drone operation services

URL

https://skyports.net/

◆The capital increase through third-party allocation included existing investors Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures (Germany), Groupe ADP (France), Irelandia Aviation (Ireland), and Levitate Capital (USA), who were joined by Kanematsu Corporation (Japan), Goodman Group (Australia), 2i Aeroporti--Italian airport platform backed by Ardian's Infrastructure Fund (France) and F2i Italian Infrastructure Fund (Italy)--and GreenPoint (USA).


Press release from Skyports Ltd (Posted on March 23, 2022):
https://skyports.net/2022/03/skyports-raises-usd-23-million-in-first-close-of-series-b-funding-round/


Contacts:

Public & Investor Relations Section, Kanematsu Corporation

Tel:+81-3-5440-8000 https://www.kanematsu.co.jp/en/inquiry/

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