Joby Aviation has become the latest eVTOL aircraft developer to go public, following a joint SPAC merger with Reinvent Technology Partners – the company co-established by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffmann.
The transaction – which is expected to close by the end of Q2 2021 – gives the combined company a $6.6 billion post-money valuation, with a $10 per share PIPE subscription price.
This includes $910 million of fully committing funding, inclusive of an $835 million private investment in public equity (PIPE), which was anchored by strategic partners and institutional investors include Uber Technologies, The Baupost Group, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Fidelity Management & Research LLC and Baillie Gifford.
Additionally, it will also provide $1.6 billion in funding which will help Joby Aviation through the certification of its eVTOL aircraft, development of manufacturing facilities and start of all-electric passenger flights by 2024.
JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, said: “For the last decade, we have been laser-focused on one task – developing the best possible technology for this market.
“But our long-term vision has always been to build a global passenger service, helping a billion people to save an hour every day, while contributing to the protection of our precious planet.
“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.
“Since our very first meeting it was clear that Reinvent shared our fundamental desire to have a positive, long-term impact on the world and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them onboard.”
With more than 1,000 test flights completed over the last decade, Joby Aviation is regarded by many to secure substantial first-mover advantage in the aerial ridesharing market.
In 2020, it became the first company to agree to a certification basis for an eVTOL aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and in the same year, received the U.S. Air Force’s first ever airworthiness approval for an eVTOL aircraft.
Towards the end of the year, Joby finalised the terms of an enhanced relationship with Uber Technologies, which will see both companies integrate their respective services into each other’s apps – allowing future customers to enjoy seamless multi-model travel. Joby also acquired Uber Elevate, a division of Uber focused on the aerial ridesharing market.
The acquisition included key personnel – such as Eric Allison joining as Joby’s new Head of Product – and a suite of software tools focused on multi-modal operations management and demand simulation, fed by Uber’s data.
Joby’s piloted aircraft will be able to carry four passengers and travel up to 150 miles, at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. Joby Aviation has said it plans to launch commercial services in the USA first, before scaling globally.
Hoffman, who is co-Lead Director at Reinvent Technology Partners, will also join Joby Aviation’s Board of Directors. He said: “Reinvent invests in world-class founders and teams who are developing industry-leading products and services 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.
“With valuable strategic partnerships including Toyota and Uber, a compelling business model and an unparalleled track-record of executing against its targets, we believe Joby is well-positioned to create a transformative new human-centered mobility network.
“Through our venture capital at scale approach, we are committed to Joby’s long-term success as it continues on its journey to revolutionize commutes and drive decades of innovation in human movement.”