Lilium was founded in 2015 by the TUM graduates Daniel Wiegand, Sebastian Born, Matthias Meiner and Patrick Nathen and attracted considerable attention with its product right from the start: an electric-powered vertical take-off and landing taxi designed to fly passengers to their destinations. Propulsion is provided by 36 wing-mounted propellers, powered by batteries that will provide a range of 300 kilometers. The flying taxi will have space for a pilot and four passengers. The company now employs more than 450 people.
Investors believe in Lilium. In March the company announced that the latest funding round had yielded $240 million. Lilium has now raised a further $35 million from a major British investor, bringing total investments to date to more than $375 million.
As reported by Bloomberg and other sources, this has boosted the company's valuation to over $1 billion. Start-ups that exceed that threshold are known as “unicorns". Lilium is the second start-up incubated at TUM to join the unicorn club. Celonis has been among the world's most successful start-ups since 2018 and was valued at an impressive $2.5 billion at the end of 2019. It provides process mining software that enables companies to analyze all of their digital business processes.
TUM and UnternehmerTUM support start-ups
TUM and its affiliated institute UnternehmerTUM, the center for innovation and start-ups, offer programs tailored to the various start-up phases – from the initial idea to the business model, management training and market launch, through to a possible IPO. The founders of Lilium were supported by the TUM start-up advisory unit and also took part in the Climate-KIC Accelerator program at UnternehmerTUM.
- TUM's Spin-offs
- Every year more than 70 technology-oriented companies are founded at TUM. The TUM Incubator can provide office space for up to 30 teams preparing to launch their companies. TUM accompanies the most promising teams on a two-week trip to Silicon Valley. UnternehmerTUM maintains its own venture capital fund, UVC, which invests in high-potential technology companies. With MakerSpace and Bio.Kitchen, it also provides a 1500 square meter high-tech prototype workshop and a biotechnology lab. According to the survey "Start-up radar", it is the best program of its kind at a major German university.