Automotive News   |   Automotive News Europe   |   Autoweek   |   Automobilwoche

Automotive News China Newsletter
Register our free newsletter, sent each Monday and Thursday

     Automakers   Suppliers   Auto Show   Comment   Car Cutaway   Newsletters   Press Releases   Register for Newsletter
  Contact Us:   Editorial   Advertising   Subscription Information   |   About Us   Media Kit
Home Email this story   Print this story
Tencent invests in German flying taxi
Bloomberg | 2017/9/8

PARIS - With a promise to haul passengers from downtown Manhattan to JFK airport in just five minutes, flying jet taxi designer Lilium raised $90 million (587 million yuan) from a group of investors that includes Tencent Holdings.
The German startup wants to use the money to build a prototype that can seat five people and fly as fast as 300 kph (186 mph), after its two-seat test model had a successful first flight in April, Chief Commercial Officer Remo Gerber said in an interview. 

Other backers include LGT Group of Lichtenstein, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams's Obvious Ventures and U.K. investor Atomico, bringing the company's total capital raised to more than $100 million. 

"We think our technology could be rapidly adopted in urban areas or between cities. All you need is a landing pad," Gerber said. "We're looking for partners who can operate it, at a cost similar to trains or taxis for passengers." 

Gerber estimates it will be several years until Lilium's jet is ready for mass production. 

Flying cars have attracted investments from Daimler in German startup Volocopter, while Airbus is backing an automated flight project called Vahana. Still at prototype phase, these technologies will need some regulatory clearance before commercial deployment happens. 

Lilium has backing from the European Space Agency. It joins companies such as Italdesign and Seabubbles, a French startup that has designed a flying water taxi, which are exploring solutions to unclog city traffic and make it easier for people to commute. 

Founded in 2015 by a quartet of academics from the Technical University of Munich, Lilium has hired senior staff from Gett Taxis, Airbus and Tesla. The April test flight program included a midair transition from hover mode to wing-borne forward flight.
Gerber said, "What you're going to see at this point is a lot of concepts based on different technologies -- drones, planes, others."

Related Stories
  • GAC creates ride-hailing JV with Tencent
  •     --Published:2019/5/4
  • Tencent recruits self-driving car team in Silicon Valley
  •     --Published:2018/9/11
  • Geely's London electric cab unit joins in Brexit warnings
  •     --Published:2018/6/7
  • London cab company to build plug-in hybrid van using taxi tech
  •     --Published:2018/5/6
  • Tencent to develop technology for self-driving cars
  •     --Published:2017/10/11
  • London Taxi's new electric cabs to debut next year in Amsterdam
  •     --Published:2017/14/7
  • Meet China's Future Tigers: Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba
  •     --Published:2017/11/4
  • Tesla deal boosts Chinese presence in U.S. auto tech
  •     --Published:2017/31/3
  • Chinese tech giant Tencent takes 5% stake in Tesla
  •     --Published:2017/28/3
  • Tencent-backed startup to build EVs in Shangrao
  •     --Published:2016/4/11
  • Audi signs pacts with China tech giants to expand digital services
  •     --Published:2016/13/9
  • Geely-owned London Black Cabs seeks green taxi deals across Europe
  •     --Published:2016/14/6
  • Geely raises 2.6 billion yuan to produce EVs for London Taxi
  •     --Published:2016/24/5

    Our Newsletter Editions
    Automotive News China produces two email newsletters each week. You can sort your news by the articles highlighted in each of our newsletters here.

    Select your newsletter     


    Automotive News China
    Room 1303, Building 2, Lane 99, South Hongcao Road,
    Shanghai 200233
    Telephone: 86-139-1851-5816
    Fax: 86-21-6495-0895
    Home | Help Center | About Us | Privacy Policy | RSS
    Entire contents © Crain Communications, Inc.
    Use of editorial content without permission is strictly prohibited. All Rights Reserved.