Today German startup Lilium, the aviation company taking part in the race to create an electric air taxi service, today announced the completion of an internal funding round worth approximately €224.2 million. The round was led by Tencent, with participation from other existing investors including Atomico, Freigeist and LGT.
Lilium, founded in 2015 by four visionary engineers, Daniel Wiegand (CEO), Sebastian Born, Matthias Meiner and Patrick Nathen, is developing a revolutionary on-demand air taxi service. The team envisions a world where anyone can fly anywhere, anytime, helping tomorrow’s collective move around with ease.
So how will they do it? Lilium has designed and prototyped the unique ‘Lilium Jet’, a brand new type of aircraft that will deliver regional journeys considerably faster than rail or road, yet competitive in price. Its first demonstrator aircraft is a five-seater, fully-electric aircraft that can take-off and land vertically (eVTOL), and promisingly, took it first flight in May 2019. As well as designing and manufacturing the Lilium Jet, the company plans to operate a regional air mobility service as early as 2025 in several regions around the world.
The fresh funds bring the total sum raised by the startup to date to more than €314.6 million, and will be used to support further development of the Lilium Jet, as well as underpin preparations for serial production in Lilium’s newly-completed manufacturing facilities.
Commenting on the announcement, Christopher Delbrück, Chief Financial Officer, Lilium, said: “This additional funding underscores the deep confidence our investors have in both our physical product and our business case. We’re very pleased to be able to complete an internal round with them, having benefited greatly from their support and guidance over the past few years.
“The new funds will enable us to take big strides towards our shared goal of delivering regional air mobility as early as 2025.”
Commenting on their role as lead investor for the internal round, David Wallerstein, Chief eXploration Officer, Tencent, said: “At Tencent we’re committed to supporting technologies that we believe have the potential to tackle the greatest challenges facing our world.
“Over the last few years we’ve had the opportunity to see the professionalism and dynamism with which Lilium are approaching their mission and we’re honored to be supporting them as they take the next steps on their journey.”