Joby Aviation, which plans to make electric flying taxis a reality, is the latest to use a SPAC to secure a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Reinvent Technology Partners, a special purpose acquisition company, is preparing the NYSE listing for Joby. The Santa Cruz, California-based company has attracted major investments during the last year from Toyota and Uber.
“Today’s transaction lets us look ahead to the next decade and provides us with the resources we need to bring our vision to life,” according to JoeBen Bevirt, Joby’s founder and CEO.
Move designed to change mobility
After closing, Joby gets $1.6 billion in cash, including $690 million from Reinvent and $835 million from a variety of private investors. That cash is expected to fund the business through the start of commercial operations, including certification of the aircraft and development of manufacturing facilities with the help of Toyota. The company is expected to have a pro forma valuation of $6.6 billion.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and co-lead director of Reinvent Technology Partners, will join the combined company’s Board of Directors. He noted his firm invests in management teams developing industry-leading products “that have the potential to impact millions of lives.
“In Joby we see a remarkable founder-led team that has quietly delivered the most advanced technology we’ve seen in this sector,” he added. “With valuable strategic partnerships including Toyota and Uber, a compelling business model and an unparalleled business track record.”
Making a flying car
Joby is developing an all-electric, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that it expects to operate as a commercial passenger aircraft or air taxi.
With more than 1,000 test flights completed during the last 10 years, Joby Aviation secured a substantial first-mover advantage in the aerial ridesharing industry, investors noted.
In 2020, the company earned the first certification for an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration and in the same year received the U.S. Air Force’s first-ever airworthiness approval for an eVTOL aircraft.
Joby’s four-passenger, emissions-free aircraft can travel up to 150 miles at speeds up to 200 miles per hour, executives said. The market for short-hop air mobility has been estimated at $500 billion plus in the United States, while the total global market is expected to exceed $1 trillion.
Working in concert with the Japanese automaker, Joby’s slated to start construction on a 450,000 square foot manufacturing facility later this year. This puts the company on track to begin commercial operations in 2024, officials claim.
Recent investments and investors
Last year, Toyota led Joby’s $620 million Series C round of investments, forming a strategic partnership with the budding aviation company. The deal puts Toyota engineers shoulder to shoulder with Joby personnel on projects such as factory layout and manufacturing process.
In December, Joby Aviation also finalized the terms of an enhanced relationship with Uber Technologies, Inc. that sets Joby apart in terms of commercial readiness. Under the agreement, the companies will integrate their respective services into each other’s apps, enabling future customers to enjoy seamless multi-modal travel.
Joby also acquired Uber Elevate, a division of Uber focused on the aerial ridesharing market. The acquisition included key personnel and a suite of software tools focused on multi-modal operations management and demand simulation, fed by Uber’s data.