Long and short distance travel have all but stopped for many people at the moment. But looking forward to a time when that may no longer be the case, a company designing flying taxis is today announcing a $240 million round of funding to help continue developing its product.


Lilium, a Munich-based startup that is designing and building vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft with speeds of up to 100 km/h, eventually plans to run in its own taxi fleet. It is deploying its latest round of funding to keep developing its aircraft and to start building manufacturing facilities to produce more of them for an expected launch date in 2025.


"We're working to deliver a brand new form of emissions-free transport," said a spokesperson. "Doing something like that takes significant time and investment, but the outcome is a valuable business and a chance to have a genuinely positive impact on the way we travel."


This latest investment was an inside round (involving existing, not new, investors), and it closed last month. It was led by Tencent, with participation from other previous backers that included Atomico, Freigeist and LGT. The valuation is not being disclosed, but the company confirms that it is significantly higher than it was in its Series B in 2017. (For some more context, PitchBook estimates that last year the company was valued at around $470 million.)


The news today caps off some challenging recent months for the company, even before the coronavirus took hold of the world and cast a dark shadow on any kind of travel.


Last October, we reported that several sources said that Lilium, which employs 400 people, was looking to raise between $400 million and $500 million, a round that it had been working on for some months. In the end, the lower amount the company is putting out today is $160 million less than the lower end of that range, but from what weve been told, this is not far from what the company was actually aiming to raise. Still, that combined with the fact that there are no new investors in the raise might imply some challenges there.


Nevertheless, it is one of the biggest fundraises to date for a startup in the "flying vehicle" space. (Volocopter, which is also designing a new kind of flying taxi-style vehicle and service, closed a $94 million round in February.) Lilium has now raised more than $340 million to date.


"This additional funding underscores the deep confidence our investors have in both our physical product and our business case. Were 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," said Christopher Delbrck, Lilium's  CFO, in a statement. "The new funds will enable us to take big strides towards our shared goal of delivering regional air mobility as early as 2025."


But raising money has not been the only challenge. At the beginning of this month, the older of Lilium's two prototypes burst into flames while some maintenance was being carried out. The model was close to being retired, but testing on the second, newer model has nonetheless been paused until the company can determine the cause of the accident with the first aircraft.


"Our second demonstrator aircraft was fortunately undamaged in the fire and will begin flight testing once we've understood the cause of the fire in the first aircraft," a spokesperson said.


The market for aircraft-based taxi services be they electric, autonomous, or both is still very nascent. There are no approved aircraft yet on the market (indeed, the regulations for what these would even look like haven't even been created), and, as a result, there are no services yet in place, either.


But the opportunity of building fast services that could mitigate current traffic congestion, while also reducing carbon emissions, is potentially massive, and so we are seeing a lot of activity and investment from many corners as companies hope their takes on solving that challenge are the ones to hit the mark.


Lilium's would-be rivals include not just fellow German startup Volocopter, but also Kitty Hawk, eHang, Joby and Uber, in addition to Blade and Skyryse, air taxi services of sorts that offer more conventional helicopters and other vessels in limited launches for those willing to spend the money.


It's not clear how much of this will fare in the months and years ahead, in particular at a tricky time for travel and the wider economy. But for now, Liliums work so far it was founded in 2015 by Daniel Wiegand (CEO), Sebastian Born, Matthias Meiner and Patrick Nathen has been promising enough for its investors to continue backing it for the long haul.


"At Tencent we're committed to supporting technologies that we believe have the potential to tackle the greatest challenges facing our world," said David Wallerstein, Chief eXploration Officer at Tencent, in a statement. "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."


Resource: techcrunch.com

\n

Lilium raises $240M to design and run an e-aircraft taxi service

Long and short distance travel have all but stopped for many people at the moment. But looking forward to a time when that may no longer be the case, a company designing flying taxis is today announcing a $240 million round of funding to help continue developing its product.


Lilium, a Munich-based startup that is designing and building vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft with speeds of up to 100 km/h, eventually plans to run in its own taxi fleet. It is deploying its latest round of funding to keep developing its aircraft and to start building manufacturing facilities to produce more of them for an expected launch date in 2025.


"We're working to deliver a brand new form of emissions-free transport," said a spokesperson. "Doing something like that takes significant time and investment, but the outcome is a valuable business and a chance to have a genuinely positive impact on the way we travel."


This latest investment was an inside round (involving existing, not new, investors), and it closed last month. It was led by Tencent, with participation from other previous backers that included Atomico, Freigeist and LGT. The valuation is not being disclosed, but the company confirms that it is significantly higher than it was in its Series B in 2017. (For some more context, PitchBook estimates that last year the company was valued at around $470 million.)


The news today caps off some challenging recent months for the company, even before the coronavirus took hold of the world and cast a dark shadow on any kind of travel.


Last October, we reported that several sources said that Lilium, which employs 400 people, was looking to raise between $400 million and $500 million, a round that it had been working on for some months. In the end, the lower amount the company is putting out today is $160 million less than the lower end of that range, but from what weve been told, this is not far from what the company was actually aiming to raise. Still, that combined with the fact that there are no new investors in the raise might imply some challenges there.


Nevertheless, it is one of the biggest fundraises to date for a startup in the "flying vehicle" space. (Volocopter, which is also designing a new kind of flying taxi-style vehicle and service, closed a $94 million round in February.) Lilium has now raised more than $340 million to date.


"This additional funding underscores the deep confidence our investors have in both our physical product and our business case. Were 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," said Christopher Delbrck, Lilium's  CFO, in a statement. "The new funds will enable us to take big strides towards our shared goal of delivering regional air mobility as early as 2025."


But raising money has not been the only challenge. At the beginning of this month, the older of Lilium's two prototypes burst into flames while some maintenance was being carried out. The model was close to being retired, but testing on the second, newer model has nonetheless been paused until the company can determine the cause of the accident with the first aircraft.


"Our second demonstrator aircraft was fortunately undamaged in the fire and will begin flight testing once we've understood the cause of the fire in the first aircraft," a spokesperson said.


The market for aircraft-based taxi services be they electric, autonomous, or both is still very nascent. There are no approved aircraft yet on the market (indeed, the regulations for what these would even look like haven't even been created), and, as a result, there are no services yet in place, either.


But the opportunity of building fast services that could mitigate current traffic congestion, while also reducing carbon emissions, is potentially massive, and so we are seeing a lot of activity and investment from many corners as companies hope their takes on solving that challenge are the ones to hit the mark.


Lilium's would-be rivals include not just fellow German startup Volocopter, but also Kitty Hawk, eHang, Joby and Uber, in addition to Blade and Skyryse, air taxi services of sorts that offer more conventional helicopters and other vessels in limited launches for those willing to spend the money.


It's not clear how much of this will fare in the months and years ahead, in particular at a tricky time for travel and the wider economy. But for now, Liliums work so far it was founded in 2015 by Daniel Wiegand (CEO), Sebastian Born, Matthias Meiner and Patrick Nathen has been promising enough for its investors to continue backing it for the long haul.


"At Tencent we're committed to supporting technologies that we believe have the potential to tackle the greatest challenges facing our world," said David Wallerstein, Chief eXploration Officer at Tencent, in a statement. "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."


Resource: techcrunch.com

\n

20 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good information. I would like your article. Keep share more articles and pass information. get one of the best service for Taxi Heathrow then visit on our website.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The article you've shared here is fantastic because it provides some excellent information about car rental Crete that will be incredibly beneficial to me. Thank you for sharing that. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I recently discovered your blog and wanted to express how much I like reading your writings about Airport chauffeur Melbourne. Thank you for sharing such interesting blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am pleased that this article provided me with some important information. Thank you so much for sharing taxi to manchester airport. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  6. During this post, you have shared fantastic content about shuttle services Durban airport. This article provided me with some useful knowledge. Thank you for sharing that. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  7. A very delightful article that you have shared here. Your blog is a valuable and engaging article for us, and also I will share it with my companions who need this info. airport taxis Cirencester Thankful to you for sharing an article like this.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You have provided a richly informative article about buses to durban..... It is a beneficial article for me and also helpful for those who are searching for this type of blog. Thanks for sharing this information here.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am pleased that this article provided me with some important information about Car Service Tampa Airport. Thank you so much for sharing it. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You have worked nicely with your insights that makes our work easy. The information you have provided is really factual and significant for us. Keep sharing these types of article, Thank you. Taxi to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Amsterdam

    ReplyDelete
  11. I admire this article for the well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so involved in this material that I couldn’t stop reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thank you so much. Read more info about Chauffeur Services Baltimore

    ReplyDelete
  12. Excellent post. I really enjoy reading and also appreciate your work. This concept is a good way to enhance knowledge. Carlisle Taxi Keep sharing this kind of articles, Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is excellent information which is shared by you. This information is meaningful and magnificent for us to increase our knowledge about it. Keep sharing this kind of information. Read more info about Airport transfers limo

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Book the best luxury car rental miami services with mph club on your next trip to south Florida, great daily luxury car rental deals. Luxury rental car Miami

    ReplyDelete
  16. You have provided valuable data for us. It is great and informative for everyone.Read more info about Transfers from Thessaloniki Airport Skg to Ikos Olivia Keep posting always. I am very thankful to you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The information in the post you posted here is useful because it contains some of the best information available. Chauffeur Airport. Thanks for sharing it. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I liked your work and, as a result, the manner you presented this content about Elite Transfers.It is a valuable paper for us. Thank you for sharing this blog with us.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You have done good work by publishing this article here. I found this article too much informative, and also it is beneficial to enhance our knowledge. Grateful to you for sharing an article like this. cab service in Jaipur

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am very thankful to you that you have shared this information with us. Read more info about manchester taxi. I got some different kind of knowledge from your web page, and it is really helpful for everyone. Thanks for share it.

    ReplyDelete