Friday, December 1, 2023

Tesla, Amazon backer Baillie Gifford invests $35M in flying taxi startup Lilium

The Munich-based company Lilium has received a $35 million investment from Baillie Gifford, one of the largest external investors in Amazon, Tesla, SpaceX, and other technology success stories. This extends the company’s current funding round to more than $275 million, and the total investment to date to more than $375 million.

The startup, which specializes in air taxis, made waves last year with the maiden flight of its five-seater Lilium Jet electric aircraft. The company plans to launch its commercial service in 2025 and by then hopes to build hundreds of aircraft each year.

The funds raised during this round give us the security to weather the challenging economic landscape we see around us, and we’re grateful to be able to stay fully focused on our mission,” said Christopher Delbrück, Chief Financial Officer, Lilium, on the new investment. Additional financing made Lilium one of the most attractive European companies for investment, and its market value rose to $1 billion.

Lilium is not the only one preparing to launch flying taxis – on the contrary, many companies, large and small, have entered into an informal “battle” over who will be able to start flying first. In January, Toyota and Joby Aviation join forces to develop “flying taxis” for a future network of flying urban travel. Volocopter has also been working on its flying taxis since 2011 and has since evolved greatly. It has plans to launch its flying taxis within the next three years. At the same time, Porsche and Boeing have also been “fighting” together to create a more luxurious flying taxi.

However, first, you have to solve the issues at the legislative level and create a flight infrastructure. Air taxi with vertical take-off and landing is extremely convenient for cities. They do not need much space for landing, but these places still need to be provided and equipped. It is assumed that the airfields for Lilium Jet and any air taxi will be the roofs of large stations and train stations.