Lilium is trying to keep its stock price up as it develops its first product, an electric flying taxi that several companies have agreed to purchase.
Travel Startup Funding This Week
Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Travel Tech Reporter Justin Dawes at [email protected] if you have funding news.
Three travel tech companies have announced more than $193 million in funding this week.
>>Lilium, which is developing an electric vertical take-off and landing jet, has closed a capital raise of $192 million.
It includes $42 million of venture capital from German tech investors Earlybird Venture Capital, BIT Capital, UVC Partners, and Frank Thelen, as well as multiple institutional investors led by B. Riley Securities, e-mobility investor E-vestment B.V., and several Lilium board members and senior executives also participated.
It also includes $75 million from an underwritten public offering and an incoming $75 million from Tencent Holdings affiliate Aceville.
The Germany-based company, which went public in September 2021 via SPAC, was told in April that it would face delisting if its stock price did not maintain the $1 minimum requirement. It had fallen below that threshold for two months this spring.
The funding will go toward Lilium’s continued aircraft development. Its first manned flight of the product is expected to take place in the second half of 2024. After that, Lilium expects to fund manufacturing with payments from companies that have committed to purchasing the product.
Heli-Eastern said in June that it plans to purchase 100 Lilium Jets for services in China. Saudi Arabia’s national flag carrier Saudia said last October that it plans to purchase 100 jets from Lilium. Lilium said last September that European charter airline GlobeAir plans to use 12 of the startup’s planes to serve Southern France and Italy.
>>SquadTrip, a payment platform for group travel agents, has raised $1.5 million in funding.
The lead investor is Atento Capital, with support from Forum Ventures. The startup said it previously raised nearly $2 million.
The Tulsa-based company said its platform can help group travel sellers create itineraries, automate billing, set up payment plans, track revenue, and communicate with guests.
The startup said it has generated $7 million in travel sales and 6,000 bookings.
“With this investment, we can accomplish our goal of helping 50,000 group travel organizers boost sales and streamline operations,” said Darrien Watson, co-founder and CEO of SquadTrip, in a statement.
The funding will go toward expanding business, improving the product, and hiring.
>>Hyde, a city guide tech startup, has raised an undisclosed pre-seed round of funding led by Dukley, a hotel company in Montenegro.
The Montenegro-based startup said it is developing a platform that integrations recommendations from residents and helps travelers plan trips through an interactive map.
“Our goal is to create city guides that go beyond the ordinary, empowering travelers to explore like a local and discover the essence of a city,” said Grigorii Kair, co-founder of Hyde, in a statement. “By the end of 2023, we plan to launch more than 20 guides for cities worldwide, starting with renowned destinations such as London, Seoul, Bangkok, and Istanbul.”
Skift Cheat Sheet
Seed capital is money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.
Series A financing is typically drawn from venture capitalists. The round aims to help a startup’s founders make sure that their product is something that customers truly want to buy.
Series B financing is mainly about venture capitalist firms helping a company grow faster. These fundraising rounds can assist in recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.
Series C financing is ordinarily about helping a company expand, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.
Series D, E, and, beyond These mainly mature businesses and the funding round may help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. A variety of types of private investors might participate.
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Photo credit: Lilium raised $42 million in venture capital. Lilium / Lilium