In the air tonight

Hi Quartz readers,

Startups promising to usher in the age of air taxis and cargo drones started popping up at the end of the 2000s. For most of their existence, they were underfunded and relegated to niche applications like delivering blood in rural Rwanda or publicity stunts like the Taco Bell-backed “tacocopter.” The pandemic changed all that overnight.

This year, startups building autonomous drones to carry passengers and packages have raised at least $3.8 billion, up from $1.1 billion in 2020. That compares to just $438 million in venture capital funding for the entire decade between 2009 and 2019, according to Pitchbook data.

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Originally published on Quartz : Original article

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