German flying taxi firm, Lilium, has just netted $35 million in investment from one of Tesla’s largest shareholders, taking another step towards realizing its ambition of producing its first vehicle in 2025.
Investment firm Baillie Gifford’s cash injection gives the company a 4% stake in Lilium. In return, the five-year-old electric vertical take off and landing firm has just become a tech unicorn with a valuation of $1 billion, the FT reports.
[Read: Tesla supplier ready to make ‘million mile’ batteries, Musk remains silent]
This investment brings Lilium’s total investment to $375 million, evtol.com reports.
Lilium’s relatively basic concept, of what is effectively a drone big enough for five humans, is said to have caught the attention of Baillie Gifford, which has also invested in a similar startup from California called Joby.
According to a spokesperson for the investor, it seems the company is making a long term bet on this kind of eVTOL technology. While there will be hurdles to overcome, such as regulations and safety, the system requires little more than a concrete landing pad and chargers for the vehicle’s batteries.
It should be noted that this technology is a long way off and is still in its very early days.
Last year, Lilium unveiled its concept after a successful test flight of an early development model. The company is currently shaping up, and this investment will certainly help, to launch its first commercial vehicle in 2025.
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