German eVTOL aircraft developer Lilium today announced the completion of an internal funding round that has raised a further $240 million. The round was led by Chinese technology venture capitalist group Tencent and other existing investors, including Atomico, Freigeist, and LGT.
Lilium has now raised more than $340 million since it was founded in 2015. The company said it will use the additional funds to make further progress with its flight test program for its five-seat, all-electric Lilium Jet, design work on a final production model and equipping its new manufacturing facilities.
Lilium’s business plan calls for a start commercial operations in 2025 in two or three locations around the world. “We’ve been overwhelmed with interest from potential cities and regions and are in the process of securing which would be the earliest locations,” a spokesperson told AIN. “Expect more news in 2020.”
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lilium is currently operating with many staff working from home and a minimal team on site at its headquarters. The spokesperson said that the outbreak is not currently compromising its ability to meet key timeline objectives for the program.
During the first phase of flight testing, the Lilium Jet prototype achieved speeds of more than 60 mph. The aircraft is expected to offer range of almost 190 miles and top speeds of 186 mph.
"This raise is an impressive feat considering the challenged funding environment for mobility startups," commented Asad Hussain, mobility analyst with financial data group PitchBook. "Although aspirational, investors believe there is a legitimate business case for electric air taxis to radically disrupt transporation and logistics."
This story comes from FutureFlight.aero resource developed by AIN to provide objective, independent coverage of new aviation technology, including electric aircraft developments.