Baillie Gifford, Tesla’s largest outside investor, has entered a German startup that develops flying taxis, Lilium, for a total of $ 35 million. However, the company has no easy task with its competitors.
Tesla’s largest external investor has joined another special company. Investment company Baillie Gifford has invested $ 35 million in a Munich-based startup called Lilium, whose main profile is the development of flying taxis.
THE GERMAN COMPANY, on the other hand, had serious success last year when it completed its test flight with its five-seater vehicle called the LILIUM JET. The Lilium Jet is otherwise capable of taking off and landing vertically (like a helicopter), but is powered by 36 electric motors placed on its wings.
Lilium is currently keeping its value above $ 1 billion stable, thanks to a $ 240 million investment round announced this year. Lilium has so far received a total of $ 375 million in capital investment, and Gifford has less than a 5 percent stake in the company.
GIFFORD, founded in EDINBURGH, is also TESLA’s SECOND LARGEST SHAREHOLDER with a 6.5 per cent stake. The largest shareholder is founder and CEO Elon Musk, who has an 18.5 percent stake in his own company.
However, Lilium is not alone in developing flying vehicles. What’s more, there is currently increasingly fierce competition among developers. The German company has to deal with companies like Uber or Volocopter in the field.
THE REAL ATTRACTION OF LILIUM, however, lies in VERTICAL landing and take-off technology. This can be especially beneficial in densely populated cities, and the company officially says their vehicle can cover 300 kilometers in an hour on just one charge. This could ultimately significantly shorten the duration of travel between cities.
In terms of pricing, Lilium estimates they would ask for roughly $ 70 for a six-minute ride between Manhattan and JFK Airport. And the more distant plan is to be able to call an air taxi with an application in the same way as an Ubert today, for example. It is planned that commercial travel would become available from 2025 onwards.