Lilium To Seek Additional Funding For eVTOL Development

Lililium Jet
Credit: Lilium

German electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) startup Lilium plans to raise an additional $119 million through the private placement of shares with existing shareholders, new investors and key suppliers.

Having raised $584 million in September 2021 through a going-public merger with blank-check company Qell Acquisition, Lilium ended June with €229 million ($238 million) in liquidity.

The company spent €123 million on development of its Lilium Jet eVTOL air taxi in the first six months of 2022 and projected spending a total of about €250 million for the full year.

With the first Lilium Jet prototype planned to fly in 2023 and certification and launch of commercial service now expected in 2025, the startup needed more funding.

In June, Lilium arranged a $75 million equity line-of-credit with Tumin Stone Capital to bolster its finances. The $119 million share issue is expected to close on Nov. 22.

Participants include suppliers Honeywell and Aciturri; investors LGT, Lightrock, Tencent and B. Riley Securities; as well as Lilium CEO Klaus Roewe and board members Barry Engle, David Wallerstein and Niklas Zennstrom.

The placement is priced at $1.30 a share. Lilium has been trading at $1.65-1.70, well below the $10 per-share price when listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The private placement is the first share issue under a shelf registration with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission in October that allows Lilium to issue up to $250 million in shares over time.

Lilium is not the only eVTOL startup burning through the cash raised for their going-public merger. The UK’s Vertical Aerospace ended the third quarter with £145 million ($173 million) in cash after raising additional £8.9 million by issuing shares under a £100 million equity-subscription line arranged in August.

Even well-funded Joby Aviation, which ended the third quarter with $1.1 billion in cash remaining from almost $1.85 billion raised, has registered a shelf offering to raise up to $1 billion over the next three years. The company plans to certify its vehicle and launch air-taxi services in 2025.

Graham Warwick

Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.