Joby Aviation, developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft that it intends to operate as a commercial passenger aircraft beginning in 2024, has entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Reinvent Technology Partners, a special purpose acquisition company. Upon the closing of the transaction, the combined company will be named Joby Aviation, and become publicly traded, with its common stock expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
With more than 1,000 test flights completed over the last 10 years, Joby Aviation has secured a substantial first-mover advantage in the aerial ridesharing industry. In 2020, the Company became the first to agree to a certification basis for an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and in the same year received the U.S. Air Force’s first airworthiness approval for an eVTOL aircraft.
The company says it intends to “revolutionize how people move by unlocking the possibility to leapfrog sustainably over the gridlock below in its piloted, four-passenger, emissions free aircraft, which can travel up to 150 miles at speeds up to 200 miles per hour.”
The proceeds from this transaction are expected to fund the business through the start of commercial operations, including certification of the aircraft and development of manufacturing facilities.
“For the last decade, we have been laser-focused on one task – developing the best possible technology for this market,” JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, said.“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 plan. 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.
“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,” Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and co-lead director of Reinvent Technology Partners, who will join the combined company Board of Directors, said. 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.”
Joby Aviation plans to launch commercial operations in the United States in 2024, before scaling its service globally. Air taxi networks can be scaled rapidly and efficiently using existing heliport or airport infrastructure, with the number of routes in a network growing exponentially as new vertiports are introduced.
Joby’s aircraft has been specifically designed to achieve cost-effective manufacturing and operations, allowing the Company to offer affordable flights at scale, democratizing air travel and transforming human networks. The market opportunity for aerial mobility has been estimated at $500+ billion for the United States, while the total addressable global market is expected to exceed $1 trillion.
In 2020, Toyota Motor Corporation led Joby’s $620 million Series C round, forming a strategic partnership that sees Toyota engineers working shoulder-to-shoulder with Joby on projects such as factory layout and manufacturing process development.
Construction is expected to begin on a 450,000 square foot manufacturing facility, designed in conjunction with Toyota, later this year.