Germany's Flying Taxi Startup Lilium

Source:  Lilium

Top Tesla Investor Takes a Stake
Tesla's top external investor, Edinboro based Baillie Gifford, has taken a stake in the German air taxi startup Lilium.  The investment management firm has invested $35 million, which is a less than 5% stake, in Lilium which vows to be the global leader in the emerging air taxi industry.

Flight Tested
Lilium has a proven air taxi prototype.  Its 5 seat, passenger air taxi took a maiden flight in October 2019 and successfully took-off, flew and landed.  The Lilium Jet is an electric, vertical take off and landing vehicle (eVTOL).  It takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter.  The vehicle is powered by 36 electric jet engines placed in the wings.

Competitive Racing for Market Launch
With a fresh round of funding, Munich-based Lilium has a market valuation of more than $1 billion.  It is racing to bring the eVTOL flying taxi to market.  Competitors include Uber and Volocopter of Germany that are also racing to deploy their air taxis.  Lilium expects to announce within the next several months where it will build pads for the vehicles to pickup and deliver passengers.

Baillie Gifford
Baillie Gifford has proved to be a very savvy tech investor.  It's the second largest shareholder of Tesla (6.5%) after Tesla founder/CEO Elon Musk (18.5%).  It also is backing Musk's SpaceX, Amazon and Spotify.  


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