LONDON — As interest in flying cars continues to swell, one of the most prominent start-ups working on the technology has gained a big new backer.
Lilium Aviation, a German company that held a successful test flight of the Eagle, its two-seat electric jet, at its Munich base this year, announced on Tuesday that it has raised $90 million in a new round of financing.
The investment was led by Tencent Holdings, the Chinese internet giant. Other investors in the round included LGT, the investment vehicle of Lichtenstein’s royal family; Atomico, the venture firm run by a founder of Skype, Niklas Zennstrom; and Obvious Ventures, the investment firm co-founded by the Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. Mr. Zennstrom has previously invested in the company.
Lilium is among several companies looking to usher in an era of Jetsons-type flying cars, including those backed by the Google co-founder Larry Page, Uber and Airbus. But the two-year-old company is trying to stand out by focusing on an electric jet — unlike other models that effectively function more like hovercraft.
The design, by the four graduates of the Technical University of Munich who founded Lilium, is meant to be more energy efficient than competitors’ models. As the start-up demonstrated with its Eagle in April, Lilium’s vehicle is designed to take off and land vertically, like a helicopter.
Lilium is also working on a bigger, five-seat version of what it calls an “air taxi” that could ferry passengers or cargo as far as 300 kilometers, or 186 miles, and reach a maximum speed of 300 kilometers an hour.
“We have highly congested cities where we can do things to improve matters,” Remo Gerber, Lilium’s chief commercial officer, said. He and his colleagues envision a fleet of air taxis zipping across crowded cities, once the vehicles are created and approved by the various regulators, of course.
“We’re trying to move from a niche transport vehicle to a mass-transport one,” he added.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Maker Business — Patreon: 4 million patrons, $1 billion in payouts
Wearables — Shake it off
Electronics — Switch Mode Power
Biohacking — Vitamin-C + Gelatin for Accelerated Recovery
Python for Microcontrollers — 200 CircuitPython Libraries, Binho, BLE, and more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython #PythonHardware @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF @Adafruit
Adafruit IoT Monthly — Machine Learning 101, PWNing the ESP32, and more!
Microsoft MakeCode — Deep Breathing Encouragement with Circuit Playground Express!
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.