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To go public, Air taxi startup Joby, in $6.6 billion blank-check deal

Joby Aviation, a 12-year old electric air taxi startup unified with Toyota Motor Corp and Uber Technologies, to go public in a $6.6 billion reverse merger with a blank check company Reinvent Technology Partners.

Joby Aviation, based in Santa Cruz, California, has a goal of beginning a commercial passenger service in 2024, utilizing its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

In an Interview, LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman said’ “We did months of due diligence, we got the same universal signal. These guys have got everything to redefine this new space… I think of Joby as Tesla meets Uber in the air.”

Joby being the first aerial vehicle startup will go public via the SPAC route.

Joby previously received an $800 million venture funding, including a $620 million Series C round led by Toyota in early 2020. The early investors were JetBlue, Intel, and asset manager Baillie Gifford.

Toyota and Joby are working together for designing a California manufacturing facility for its four-passenger eVTOL aircraft and will share access to its supplier network.

Joby CEO and Founder, JoeBen Bevirt exclaimed, “Toyota’s involvement has accelerated our manufacturing ramp—they are the key to unlocking global scale for us.”

Also, Joby executive chairman and co-founder of Pinterest, Paul Sciarra said, “We want to tie together air and ground transportation to deliver the right customer experience.”

The SPAC transaction is expected to provide Joby with $1.6 billion in cash and also to close in the second quarter.


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