Within the emerging industry of advanced air mobility, as the hard financial realities of new aircraft certification become increasingly apparent, some of the leading players are busy raising fresh funds.
This week, both Joby Aviation and Lilium have closed significant fresh funding rounds that will strengthen their cash position as they face the last stretch in their path to commercialization.
On May 2, 2023, German eVTOL startup Lilium announced it was raising an additional $250M in capital, of which $100M was funded at close. This amount will provide breathing space to achieve the first manned flight of Lilium’s type-conforming aircraft. Achieving this milestone is essential, because it will in turn activate a number of pre-delivery payments from prospective customers, unlocking a financial virtuous circle of sorts.
A day after Lilium’s announcement, another major eVTOL developer, California-based Joby Aviation, announced it had secured $180M of fresh investment from Baillie Gifford, a prominent institutional investor that has some $280B of assets under management.
Joby also provided its Q1 2023 financials, showing the company holds nearly $978 in cash, a figure that would need to be updated upwards with this latest funding round.
This capital injection will facilitate the construction of Joby’s planned new production facility and provide a financial cushion while the firm completes its testing and certification process.
Once this process is completed, the first airframes will be delivered to the US military. The US Department of Defense recently extended a contract with Joby topping $131M, which will see nine of Joby’s eVTOL aircraft being delivered to Andrews Air Force base, California, from 2024.