Despite the grim current scenario in the transportation sector brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 scare, a few companies seem to teetering on the hope of building a better future with regards to mobility.
Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft developer, Lilium, based in Munich, has apparently made it to the headlines for declaring that it has raised more USD 240 million in funding to design and run an electric-based aircraft taxi service. The startup is popular for manufacturing VTOL airplanes with speeds up to 100km/h. However, eventually, Lilium plans to run its own fleet of taxis. Presently, the company is concentrating on deploying the funds accumulated to develop its aircraft and commence the construction of manufacturing facilities for producing more such aircrafts for a highly anticipated launch in 2025.
This latest investment had apparently been an inside round (one that involves existing investors, and not new ones) that closed last month. Mainly led by Tencent, the round also witnessed the participation of other investors such as Freigeist, LGT, and Atomico.
A Lilium spokesperson had been reported to say that the company is working to an all-together new form of emissions-free transport. Though the process might require quite some time and investment, the outcome would be worth it as it would give the company a chance to deliver something that’ll have a positive impact on the way one commutes, the spokesperson added.
It has been speculated that the company, last October, had been looking to raise between USD 400 million to USD 500 million, and had been working on it for months. Presently, the lower amount that Lilium is putting out today is around USD 160 million lesser than the lower end of the decided range, however, it has been reported that the amount is not very far from what the company had been planning to raise initially.
For a startup in the ‘flying vehicle’ space, this round is one of the biggest fundraises to date. Reports claim that Lilium has raised close to USD 340 million so far.