Lilium closes $150 million investment round
The Bavarian electric air taxi start-up Lilium has raised another 150 million US dollars in capital. Lilium was able to raise a backer in Germany who is investing 75 million dollars – so that Tencent keeps its promise and in turn invests another 75 million dollars.
According to a notification to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 75 million dollars come from the German venture capitalist Earlybird and another 75 million from the Chinese investor Tencent. At the beginning of May, Lilium had already announced that Tencent would invest 100 million dollars and release another 75 million if Lilium succeeds in raising the same amount from other investors. This has now been achieved with the 75 million from Earlybird.
In total, Tencent and Earlybird have raised 250 million US dollars in fresh capital. As the German publication Handelsblatt writes, Lilium has thus succeeded in “closing a large part of its acute financing gap and should thus be able to bridge the period until the manned maiden flight”. This is to take place in the second half of next year and is in turn the prerequisite for certification of the electric vertical launcher. And without certification, no commercial flight operations are possible.
Lilium had itself declared in May that it needed that $250 million to last until the first manned flight in the first half of next year. The company has now secured commitments for this sum. But further, unplanned expenses or price increases do not appear to be covered.
“We were not among the early investors because we had too much respect for the technical and financial challenges. For a long time we were not sure where the journey would lead. But now the main obstacles have been overcome and the first flight is not far away,” Hendrik Brandis, partner at the German venture capitalist Earlybird, told the Handelsblatt. In addition, since the stock market value has fallen from around three billion dollars to only around 660 million dollars since the IPO almost two years ago, Lilium offers “an attractive risk-reward ratio due to the current valuation […]”.