Are flying cars the future of transportation or an inflated expectation?

It seems like flying-car startups are finally taking over the “140-character” kinds of tech companies we are used to. With EU-based startup Lilium working on an all-electric autonomous flying taxi, garnering a $90 million Series B led by Tencent and supported by a number of well-known VCs (including Atomico), it’s clear that flying cars are transitioning from a fascinating concept to a quite-mature technology and promising investment thesis.

But will we see flying cars out in the world? And how will the market environment evolve?

The first thing I’d like to do to answer these questions is provide a snapshot of the current flying car ecosystem:

Company

Country

Founded


Raised
 (in millions)

Selected Investors

Lilium Aviation

Germany

2014

$101.4

Tencent, Atomico, e42 Ventures, Obvious Ventures

Volocopter

Germany

2012

$29.5

Daimler

Ehang

China

2014

$52

GGV Capital, GP Capital, ZhenFund, LeBox Capital

Joby Aviation

U.S.

2009

$15.5

8VC, Capricorn Venture Partners

AeroMobil

Hungary

2010

$3.2

LRJ Capital, InfraPartners Management

Moller

U.S.

1983

N/A

N/A

Zee.Aero

U.S.

2010

$100

Larry Page

Kitty Hawk

U.S.

2015

N/A

Larry Page

Terrafugia

U.S.

2006

$6.56

Haiyin Capital, Transcendent Holdings

PAL-V

Netherlands

2001

N/A

N/A

Cartivator

Japan

N/A

N/A

Toyota Motors

Neva Aerospace

U.K.

2013

$2.53

Schübeler Technologies GmBH

Hoversurf

Russia

2014

N/A

N/A

Malloy

U.K.

N/A

N/A

N/A

Aerofex

U.S.

N/A

N/A

N/A

Source: Crunchbase, PitchBook, Bloomberg and companies’ press releases

Here are a few observations:

The ecosystem is maturing. There are already 15 startups working on different concepts of flying cars (including hoverbikes), and more may be in stealth mode or early stage. In addition to this, several heavyweight corporations, such as Airbus and Toyota, are also developing this technology.

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