Joby Aviation, a transportation company developing an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, is going public as part of a merger with special purpose acquisition company Reinvent Technology Companies.
Joby, which will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange after the merger, expects to have passenger aircraft operating for commercial use by 2024. It is developing a four-passenger piloted aircraft that can fly 150 miles on a single charge at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. The aircraft have no carbon emissions and are 100 times quieter than small planes or existing rotorcraft, according to JetBlue, which has been an investor in Joby since 2017 via its JetBlue Technology Ventures subsidiary.
“The regional transportation ecosystem is ripe for disruption, and startups like Joby Aviation will revolutionize how people move across urban areas,” JetBlue Technology Ventures founder Bonny Simi said in a statement. “Nearly four years ago, we saw that Joby already was the emerging leader in the [electric vertical takeoff and landing] space, and today’s developments validate our early investment.”
Uber also has been a major backer of Joby, and in December announced that it was investing $75 million in the company—on top of an earlier investment of $50 million in early 2020—as part of a transaction in which Joby acquired Uber’s flying taxi unit, Uber Elevate. Per their agreement, Joby and Uber will integrate their services into each other’s apps.
Toyota Motor Corp. is a major investor in Joby as well, having led its $620 million Series C investment round last year. The investment formed a partnership in which Toyota engineers are working with Joby on factory layouts and the manufacturing process, including a 450,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on which construction is expected to begin this year.
Earlier this month, United Airlines announced it would be partnering with another air mobility company, Archer, on developing short haul electric “air taxis” with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.