Silicon Valley-targeting Lilium obtains £69.6mn to fund 'flying taxi'

By Johan De Mulder

German startup Lilium is eyeing Silicon Valley after raising £69.6mn worth of Series B funding for its ambitious 'flying taxi' concept.

Investors including Chinese major technology player Tencent are throwing their weight behind Lilium's plans to bring their five-seater electric aircraft to market in the next decade.

Lilium, founded in 2015, announced the project in April following the successful test trial of a two-seater equivalent capable of vertical take-off and landing.

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With a current staff consisting of 70 people, the company will be using its newly-acquired funding to double its workforce in order to achieve its target of undergoing a manned test in 2019.

“The concept goes far beyond what you typically see from German startups,” said Remo Gerber, named Lilium’s chief commercial officer last month.

Other investors in Lilium's vision include Europe's largest family-based investment firm LGT and Atomico, another high-profile investor from the continent.

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