Lilium wins “Early Stage Company of the Year” at Global Cleantech 100 Awards
Lilium, the German start-up developing the world’s first all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet, has won the 2018 Early Stage Company of the Year award at the Global Cleantech 100 Awards produced by CTG (Cleantech Group).
The Global Cleantech 100 represents the most innovative and promising ideas that aim to solve the clean technology challenges of the future. Global Cleantech 100 - where Lilium has also been named - is a comprehensive list of private companies with the highest potential to make a significant market impact within the next 5 to 10 years.
Lilium was recognised for its innovative work developing an all electric, 5-seater jet that will fly at speeds up to 300 km per hour with a flying time of up to 1 hour on a single charge. The company has already flown its 2-seater prototype of the jet in the skies above Munich.
Patrick Nathen, Lilium co-founder and Head of Design & Calculation said: “We are making incredible progress towards our dream of developing a low-cost, zero-emissions, high speed jet that will revolutionise the way people move in and around the world’s cities. To win this award is a great privilege for everyone at Lilium, and also a sign of how much we’ve achieved already, and how much potential the Lilium jet has.”
The Global Cleantech 100 list is collated by combining proprietary CTG research data, with weighted qualitative judgments of hundreds of nominations, and specific inputs from a global 86-person Expert Panel. To qualify for the list, companies must be independent, for-profit, cleantech companies that are not listed on any major stock exchange.
Richard Youngman, CEO, CTG (Cleantech Group) said: “Transportation is one of the world’s biggest cleantech challenges. As more and more people are moving around the globe, we need companies coming up with sustainable, innovative solutions. Lilium is a worthy winner of this Early Stage Company of the Year award as their all-electric jet has the potential to make the dream of zeroemissions mass-transportation a reality.”
This year, a record number of nominations were received: 12,300 distinct companies from 61 countries. These companies were weighted and scored to create a short list of 312 companies. Short-listed nominees were reviewed by CTG’s Expert Panel, resulting in a finalized list of 100 companies from 18 countries.
- The complete list of 100 companies was revealed on January 22nd at the 16th annual Cleantech Forum San Francisco. https://i3connect.com/gct100/the-list
- The list is accompanied by a full report with commentary and insight on the 2017 Global Cleantech 100 — authored by CTG, powered by data from i3, and sponsored by Chubb. Download the report at: https://i3connect.com/gct100/reports
- The complete list of Global Cleantech 100 expert panel members is available at https://i3connect.com/gct100/panelist
Lilium secures $90 Million Series B Funding Round
We are incredibly happy to announce that we completed a $90 million Series B funding round.
The funding group consists of Tencent; LGT, the international private banking and asset management group; Atomico, our Series A backer founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström; and Obvious Ventures, whose co-founder Ev Williams is Twitter’s co-founder and former CEO. The investment brings our total capital raised to more than $100 million. Freigeist (formerly e42) were our seed investors.
The investment will be used for the development of the five-seat Lilium Jet that will fly commercially, as well as to grow our current team of more than 70. In April we achieved a world first when the full size prototype successfully performed its most complicated manoeuvre - transitioning between hover mode and horizontal flight.
Daniel Wiegand, our co-founder and CEO said: “This investment is a tremendously important step for Lilium as it enables us to make the five-seat jet a reality. This is the next stage in our rapid evolution from an idea to the production of a commercially successful aircraft that will revolutionise the way we travel in and around the world’s cities. It makes Lilium one of the best funded electric aircraft projects in the world. Our backers recognise that Lilium’s innovative eVTOL technology puts us in the lead in this exciting new industry, with no other company promising the economy, speed, range and low-noise levels of the Lilium Jet.
“We are continuing to recruit the very brightest and best global talent in aeronautical engineering, physics, electric propulsion and computer science to join us on this extraordinary aviation journey where the only limits are the laws of physics.” The Lilium Jet’s electric jet engines are highly efficient and ultra-low noise, allowing it to operate in densely populated urban areas, while also covering longer distances at high speed with zero emissions. With the jet requiring no significant infrastructure, we will be able to bring high speed transportation services to small cities and villages as well as large city centres for the first time.
The Lilium Jet will be able to travel at up to 300 km per hour for one hour on a single charge - meaning an example 19 km journey from Manhattan to JFK Airport could last as little as five minutes. The jet’s economy and efficiency means flights are predicted to cost less than the same journey in a normal road taxi.
David Wallerstein, Chief Exploration Officer at Tencent said: “Transportation technologies play a fundamental role in structuring our everyday lives. Lilium’s electric powered eVTOL aircraft offers new mobility options that can benefit people around the world. From under-developed regions with poor road infrastructure, to the developed world with traffic congestion and sprawl, new possibilities emerge when convenient daily flight becomes an option for all of us. Lilium offers a substantial and environmentally-friendly transportation breakthrough for humanity.”
Niklas Zennström, CEO and Founding Partner at Atomico said: “Lilium has already demonstrated its leadership in this new eVTOL industry and its once-in-a-generation transformative technology will have a seismic, positive impact on the world for generations to come. Now, with this latest investment round, Lilium has the capital and resources to speed ahead with the development of a commercially successful commuter aircraft that will transform the way we travel and help to solve some of the great challenges of our time.” Check out our announcement from earlier this month about our latest senior level hires from Airbus, Tesla and Gett.
Lilium recruits senior leaders from Gett, Airbus and Tesla
- Former UK CEO and MD for Western Europe of global on-demand transportation and delivery unicorn Gett, Dr Remo Gerber, joins the aviation start up as Chief Commercial Officer to lead commercial growth as air taxi project starts to fly,
- Former VP assembly A380 and A320 from Airbus and Director of Manufacturing Engineering at Rolls Royce, Dirk Gebser, takes up VP of Production role to grow and streamline production environments, and
- Meggy Sailer, former Head of Talent EMEA at Tesla and oversaw Tesla´s growth from 200 to 13,000 employees worldwide, has joined Lilium as Head of Recruitment in February
Munich, August 21st 2017 – Following our exciting announcement back in February that Meggy Sailer, Head of Recruitment for Tesla EMEA, would be joining Lilium we are very excited today to announce two more senior hires joining the team - Dr. Remo Gerber as CCO and Dirk Gebser as VP of Production. Both have a proven track record of success and leadership in their fields of expertise at Gett and Airbus respectively.
Daniel Wiegand, Lilium co-founder and CEO said: “In just two years we’ve taken our idea of this incredible aircraft from a piece of paper to the skies above Bavaria. Now that we have the technology, we need to grow our business so that it can fulfil our vision to revolutionise on-demand mobility for everyone. There are no three people better suited to helping us achieve that vision than Remo, Meggy and Dirk.”
Dr. Remo Gerber is joining Lilium as Chief Commercial Officer, just three months after the Munich based company successfully completed the first test flight of its all-electric air taxi designed especially for congested cities. As CCO, Gerber will lead Lilium towards commercial operations as its unique zero-emission jet - which is capable of taking off and landing vertically without a runway - promises to revolutionise not just aviation but the way we travel in general. Gerber joins Lilium from global ride-sharing app Gett, where, as MD for Western Europe, he oversaw the company’s successful multi-million dollar acquisition of a rival London firm, explosive European growth to tens of thousands of partner drivers and thousands of corporate clients. Gett has raised $613m to date, including $300m in 2016 from Volkswagen Group.
Dr. Remo Gerber said: “There can’t be a more exciting start up anywhere in the world than Lilium and I am absolutely thrilled to join the incredible team here for the next stage on their journey. On-demand ground transportation has seen a lot of disruption in recent years but every major global city suffers from high levels of congestion and pollution that makes true progress on the ground virtually impossible. Lilium will change that - moving people by air from point to point at a price comparable to a ground taxi.”
“Remo’s experience in transportation, disruptive industries and apps will be invaluable as we aim to have our first manned flight in the next 2 years and commercialise our aircraft very quickly. Remo’s experience as a scientist, alongside his deep knowledge of how to serve customers, is exactly what we need for the complex mission of launching this completely new and affordable way to travel,” added Wiegand.
Dirk Gebser has more than 25 years of experience in aerospace & automotive design and manufacturing. Starting his career at Rolls-Royce, he was able to rapidly grow and streamline production environments as manufacturing engineering director for aero engine components, before moving on to a Senior Vice President role of a division of the Airbus group and finally as VP Industrial for aircraft assembly at the Airbus plant in Hamburg where he oversaw the fuselage assembly of the company’s famous A320 and A380 jet airliners.
Daniel Wiegand, Lilium co-founder and CEO said: “I am thrilled that Dirk is joining our team. He shares our vision and puts the same strong enthusiasm into every aspect of his actions as we do. As we are the world’s first company bringing electric jet engines into serial production and setting up a state of the art aircraft assembly line, with his experience both in jet engine manufacturing and large scale jet manufacturing he is a perfect match for Lilium.”
In his position as VP of Production at Lilium Gebser will play a vital role in the setup of Lilium‘s production facility and supply chain, to ensure the company is fully optimised for assembling the final aircraft at both volume and scale to meet global demand.
Dirk Gebser said: “I am excited and grateful to join Lilium in this newly created position, and very much look forward to working with this amazing international team to start a new chapter in the young history of Lilium. I admire the disruptiveness and innovation of Lilium‘s vision to change the way people will commute. I am looking forward to building a robust, modern and green production capability to secure a safe ramp up to the many aircrafts to come.”
Lilium will enable commuters to travel five times faster than a car, without the prohibitively expensive burden of aircraft ownership, by simply paying per ride and requesting a jet with the push of a button from their smart phones. Lilium’s mission is to make air taxis available to everyone and as affordable as riding in a car.
You can find the exclusive story at Recode.
Lilium celebrates successful flight tests and introduces 5-seater VTOL jet
We have incredibly exciting news to share. The Lilium Jet successfully completed its maiden test flight series in the skies above Bavaria. The 2-seater Eagle prototype executed a range of complex maneuvers, including its signature mid-air transition from hover mode to wing-borne forward flight.
Seeing the Lilium Jet take to the sky and performing sophisticated maneuvers with apparent ease is testament to the skill and perseverance of our amazing team. We have solved some of the toughest engineering challenges in aviation to get to this point. The successful test flight programme shows that our ground-breaking technical design works exactly as we envisioned. We can now turn our focus to designing a 5-seater production aircraft.
The Lilium Jet 5-seater – Your on-demand air taxi
We are now developing a larger, 5-seater version of our Lilium Jet, designed for on-demand air taxi and ridesharing services. A typical journey with the Lilium Jet will be at least 5x faster than by car, with even greater efficiencies in busy cities. So a flight from Manhattan to New York’s JFK Airport will take around 5 minutes, compared to the 55 minutes it would take you by car.
As well as making great progress in the air, we’ve also updated our Lilium brand. Enjoy our new website, we hope you like it!
Welcome Meggy Sailer
Today I am very happy to announce that Meggy Sailer has joined Lilium as Head of Recruiting. After more than 5 years at Tesla, Meggy brings excellent experience of staffing a cutting-edge transportation company and will help us grow our staff of specialists in Munich.
She started at Tesla when they were still in their start-up phase themselves. Meggy helped to grow the company from 200 to 13.000 employees in just about three years time, so she knows the pace of a rapidly growing company. Additionally, Meggy knows the field of groundbreaking electric transportation first hand and I am delighted that she’s now shifting her attention to the skies.
At Lilium, she will be responsible for shaping and expanding our workforce from 30 to over 100 employees within this year. Together with her team she will find key talent to build Lilium´s team of top-class engineers and like-minded, passionate colleagues.
Speaking of finding the best people: if you are interested in joining Lilium, please take a look at our current job openings.
Lilium raises € 10m from Atomico
Our team at Lilium is thrilled to announce that we have closed a €10m funding round with Atomico, the leading European venture capital firm based in London.
Their support will enable us to continue developing the Lilium Jet, through flight testing beginning in early 2017, towards commercial production. At the same time, we will also be expanding our existing staff of specialists and product engineers.
We are delighted that Atomico’s founder Niklas Zennström will be joining our board, bringing with him extensive experience of building world class companies. Already, we have been impressed by the Atomico team as they assist with critical hiring and developing our go to market strategy.
Atomico is known as a champion of European “deep tech” — companies that bring together specialist knowledge and skills with the vision and determination to solve the world’s biggest problems.
Our cities are heading for perpetual gridlock, choked by an ever growing number of cars — 1.2 billion today, rising to an estimated 2bn by 2035.
Moving to electric vehicles may stem the flow of harmful emissions, but it will make not one bit of difference to congestion.
In founding Lilium we looked to the skies for an answer.
Even as we engaged with the technical challenge of creating a zero-emission, electrically powered aircraft, capable of vertical take-off and landing in urban areas, we understood that the implications of such technology were far greater than just taking cars off our roads.
The look and feel of our towns and cities is hugely influenced by our transport infrastructure. The space we use to park our vehicles is so much less than the endless roads that we move them around on. That changes when we are able to simply rise into the air.
Today, if we want to travel further and faster, we have to make our way to airports on the outskirts of our cities. But what happens when we have micro landing pads right in the middle of built-up areas? When the fastest transport is also the most accessible and flexible.
At that point, the nature of commuting changes fundamentally. With the Lilium Jet, the radius of our lives will be enlarged 3x. Escaping to the country will mean a 15 minute flight, rather than a two hour drive or stop-start train journey.
We will be able to work where we need to and live where we want to, with none of the gruelling compromise required today. House prices will adjust accordingly, as town and country compete on a level-playing field.
This is a future that we believe should be open to everyone.
We will see businesses spring up around the Lilium Jet, offering air taxi services and other new models of transportation. Lilium passengers of tomorrow are the people using ride-hailing and car sharing apps today, not private jets.
It is an exciting vision of the way our world could be. We hope that when everyone sees the amazing progress we are making on the Lilium Jet, they’ll understand that we’re already well on our way.
Introducing the future of transport
Today is a special day for us. We are giving the first glimpse into Lilium and the Lilium Jet. And you are the very first to know! Over the last few months, we have received many questions from you and we want to use these newsletters to answer them all, one by one. So stay tuned and enjoy!
The question we have been asked most frequently is:
Does the Lilium Jet fly yet?
The Lilium Jet is still waiting in the wings for its maiden flight, but many of our smaller-scale prototypes have flown successfully and validated our revolutionary design. Each test has led us to new findings, which have helped us optimize each subsequent prototype.
It all started with the “Gleiter”
He was the very first to fly. The “Gleiter” is made out of chipboard, foil and lots of cables. His name means glider, because we had to launch him by throwing him like a paper glider.
And then there was “Hexa”
It was our first authentic VTOL aircraft, with 6 tiltable electric ducted fans and VTOL flight software on board. Made from chipboard and foil, Hexa was a 10 day hackathon project, built in the living room of co-founder Sebastian.
Please, meet the “Dragon”
He is entirely 3D printed, even down to his fans, which makes him quick to rebuild. Accordingly, he is our go-to prototype for all initial software tests and fun flights. He is a 1:5 scale model of the ultimate Lilium Jet, and the first prototype to demonstrate seamless transition flights from hover to cruise mode and back using the final design concept of the Lilium Jet. He is a very passionate character, but melts away in the sun, so we gave him a coat of white paint.
This is our “Falcon”
He is half the size of the final Lilium Jet and is made out of carbon fiber. The Falcon has 36 engines, as well as an on-board computer, which we analyze and calibrate continuously for his big brother. Having completed some rigorous flight testing, he is perched in our workshop watching an even bigger bird grow…
How much can I buy it for?
Well, we could simply give you a number — and a number is already out there somewhere — but we don’t aim at simply selling it. Sure, in the beginning there will be excited pilots and aviation and green mobility enthusiasts interested in purchasing the Lilium Jet for themselves. However, we believe in a completely new way of commuting for everybody. In order to get there, we aim for a shared air-taxi service for everyone, orderable via an App. We will tell you more about it in a future Newsletter.
How does it fly?
To achieve the goal of simple electric vertical take-off and landing, coupled with long range flight and low noise, we’ve invented an entirely new VTOL aircraft concept. The 600kg two-seater will be lifted vertically by 36 electric ducted fan engines. With the fan engines directed downwards, the jet hovers and climbs until the fans are turned backwards slowly, which transitions the plane into forward flight. Once the engines are oriented horizontally the aircraft flies like a normal plane with the wings and fuselage creating aerodynamic lift, while the flaps with engines act as steering surfaces. As a pilot you won’t have to worry about controlling the flaps. You simply push the throttle stick forward and the on-board computer controls all engines and flaps. There is a seamless transition from hover into cruise flight and you can perform turns in any flight state in between. The electric jet engines always provide for a smooth flight making flying in a Lilium Jet the most comfortable way of travelling.
What makes it so safe?
Safety has been the top priority from day one of Lilium’s development. We’ve incorporated the concept of what we call ‘ultra redundancy’. The aircraft is designed such that it does not have a single point of failure, which means any component can fail in any flight condition and the aircraft will always be able to do an ordinary vertical landing automatically. The objective behind this concept is to make flying a Lilium Jet as simple as driving an electric car. At the same time, we provide an unprecedented level of safety both through a failure-tolerant aircraft and through avoiding pilot errors in stressful situations. For the duration of the flight, the software’s Flight Envelope Protection system rejects unsafe pilot commands. No matter what you do as a pilot, the system will always maintain safe flight conditions. Additionally, the Jet is equipped with a whole-aircraft parachute.