Lilium gets $90 million series B funding for five-seat electric aircraft


Lilium founders with electric aircraft prototype

Lilium has received $90 million in Series B funding to help it launch a five-seater electric-powered vertical take-off jet.

“This investment is a tremendously important step for Lilium as it enables us to make the five-seat jet a reality,” said Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO. “This is the next stage in our rapid evolution from an idea to the production of a commercially successful aircraft that will revolutionise the way we travel in and around the world’s cities. It makes Lilium one of the best funded electric aircraft projects in the world.”

The Series B investors comprised WeChat owner Tencent, LGT, Atomico, and Obvious Ventures, a private equity firm co-founded by Ev Williams, former CEO and co-founder of Twitter. Atomico, which was launched by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, also invested in the Series A round.

The company has now raised more than $100 million in equity. Freigeist (formerly e42) was seed investor.

Lilium plans to use the money to create a five-seat prototype and add to its 70-person team. Recent hires have come from Airbus and Tesla. “We are continuing to recruit the very brightest and best global talent in aeronautical engineering, physics, electric propulsion and computer science to join us on this extraordinary aviation journey where the only limits are the laws of physics,” says Wiegand.

The company says that its Lilium Jet will be able to carry five people and travel at up to 300 km per hour for one hour. It says that short flights will cost the same amount as a taxi and that customers will book flights using an app.

“Transportation technologies play a fundamental role in structuring our everyday lives. Lilium’s electric powered eVTOL aircraft offers new mobility options that can benefit people around the world. From under-developed regions with poor road infrastructure, to the developed world with traffic congestion and sprawl, new possibilities emerge when convenient daily flight becomes an option for all of us,” says David Wallerstein, Tencent’s chief exploration officer. Lilium offers a substantial and environmentally-friendly transportation breakthrough for humanity.”

Niklas Zennstrom, CEO and founding partner at Atomico, added: “Lilium has already demonstrated its leadership in this new eVTOL industry and its once-in-a-generation transformative technology will have a seismic, positive impact on the world for generations to come. Now, with this latest investment round, Lilium has the capital and resources to speed ahead with the development of a commercially successful commuter aircraft that will transform the way we travel and help to solve some of the great challenges of our time.”

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