German ‘Flying Taxi’ Firm Lilium Raises $90 Million

September 5th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

Lilium, a German start-up with Silicon Valley-scale ambitions to develop a 5-passenger “flying taxi”, has raised a second, $90 million round of financing from top tech investors, making it one of the best-funded electric aircraft projects to date. The company, which took in $11.4 million only last year, has emerged as one of Europe’s hottest start-ups for attempting to solve hard physics problems for a new category of aircraft capable of vertical take-off and electric powered jet flight.

Lilium said on Tuesday the new funding round, led by Chinese internet giant Tencent, is joined by LGT, the largest family-owned investment firm in Europe, based in Liechtenstein; Atomico, a top European venture firm; and Obvious Ventures, whose co-founder, Evan Williams, is a co-founder of Twitter.

In April, Lilium said it was developing a five-seat “flying taxi” after mounting successful test flights of a two-seat jet capable of a mid-air transition from hover mode, like drones, to wing-borne flight, like conventional aircraft.

Wing-borne, electric-powered flight allows commuter aircraft to travel five or six times the distance of drones, a Lilium executive said. A 20-km (12-mile) trip from Manhattan to JFK Airport could take as little as five minutes, he estimated.

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