Baillie Gifford, the Scottish asset management firm and Tesla’s second-largest shareholder (after Elon Musk) invests $35 million in air taxi startup Lilium which plans an urban taxi service meant to supplant normal car traffic.
Baillie Gifford previously backed companies including SpaceX, Amazon, and Airbnb.
Founded in 2015 Lilium has raised an additional $240 million in March. The Munich-based startup has now raised about $375 million to date. This gives the company a valuation in excess of $1 billion, very close to becoming a“unicorn”.
The German company’s goal is to launch passenger operations in several locations around the world by 2025.
Lilium is building an electric car for vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) with space for a driver and four passengers. The landing pads can be placed anywhere including rooftops. Lilium’s beckons ride through an Uber-style mobile app.
The company completed 36-rotor electric prototype with speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph). The company says when it’s complete, the jet will have a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles) and a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).