The global interest in flying taxi services has significantly increased in the past few years and a number of companies are already trying their luck in this up and coming sector through their innovative product and service lines. One of the most prominent contenders in the area, Lilium Aviation, a Germany-based startup, has raised massive funds of US$90 mn in a recent round of financing.
The investment was backed by Tencent Holdings of China; LGT, the investment arm of the Lichtenstein royal family; Obvious Ventures, the investment company co-founded by Evan Williams, the co-founder of Twitter; and Atomico, the venture firm run by Niklas Zennstrom, one of the founders of Skype. Niklas Zennstrom has also invested in Lilium Aviation previously.
While a few service providers are already in the global air taxi market, Lilium is trying to beat its peers by focusing its research and development attempts on a completely electric vehicle, unlike most other models in the market that essentially work like hovercrafts. The design has a higher quotient of energy efficiency than the air taxi models introduced by competitors. The company first demonstrated its Eagle early this year and is presently working on a larger, five-seat version of the air taxi, which could carry passengers or cargo for up to nearly 300 kms and reach a speed of nearly 300 kms per hour.
The vision of the founders is to reduce traffic, especially in developed and developing countries, and provide services in underdeveloped regions with poor road infrastructures. The new funds will help company work with more force towards its goal and help it expand its team of only about 70 employees.