The electric air taxi company Joby Aviation completed a merger with Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP) on Aug. 10 making it the first publicly traded electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company on the market. The company had $1.6 billion cash on its balance sheet as of March 31 and this transaction values Joby at $4.5 billion enterprise value.
Joby will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 11 under JOBY for common stock and JOBY WS for warrants, according to an Aug. 10 release from the company. The company also showcased its aircraft to the public for the first time in New York.
“Aviation connects the world in critically important ways but today it does that at the expense of our planet,” JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO at Joby, said in a statement. “By taking Joby public we have the opportunity to drive a renaissance in aviation, making emissions-free flight a part of everyday life. This is our generation’s moonshot moment, and at Joby we’re proud to be leaning in.”
The Air Force’s Agility Prime program awarded Joby the first military airworthiness contract for an eVTOL aircraft in 2020, and the Air Force has signaled an interest in having an eVTOL in use by 2023. Joby’s involvement in the Agility Prime program has allowed the company to access research facilities and equipment while providing the government insight into its new technology and operations.
Joby, which previously acquired Uber Elevate, is planning to launch its air taxi in 2024 after receiving certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which it expects in 2023. In February of this year, Joby and the FAA agreed on G1 certification conditions for the aircraft. The company is using Part 23 requirements along with the G1 certification because of the unique nature of the air taxi.
“With its advanced technology, we believe Joby is ‘Tesla meets Uber in the air’ and the clear leader in the eVTOL and aerial ridesharing space,” Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-Founder and Co-Lead Director of RTP, said in a statement. “We believe Joby is well-positioned with capital to be the first company to certification and commercialization. Closing this business combination accelerates Joby’s roadmap, and we look forward to supporting JoeBen and Joby’s world-class team in executing on their vision.”
The company recently completed a 150-mile test flight of its full-scale prototype on a single battery charge. Joby’s aircraft uses commercially available lithium-ion batteries, an 811 NMC cathode, and a graphite anode cell.
Joby has partnered with Toyota [TM] for production expertise, and they also have a partnership with JetBlue Airways [JBLU] and Signature Flight Support that is aimed at commercializing electric and hydrogen technologies.