Joby Aviation, a transportation company developing an eVTOL 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 that takes a ‘venture capital at scale’ approach to partnering with companies. 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 made steady progress in the aerial ridesharing industry. In 2020, the company became the first to agree to a certification basis for an eVTOL aircraft with the FAA and in the same year received the US Air Force's first ever airworthiness approval for an eVTOL aircraft.
The company intends to revolutionise 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.
Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt says: “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 it on board.”
Executive chairman Paul Sciarra adds: “While travelling is central to human existence, it's often painfully inefficient and is only getting worse. By rethinking how air travel is delivered, we can open up new ways of moving around congested cities and under-served rural communities, helping to tackle congestion and climate change at the same time. Aerial ridesharing will drive a generational shift in how we travel this century, just as the railroad and the jet aircraft did in previous centuries.”
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.
Earlier this month, Joby announced that it had agreed to a G-1 certification basis for its aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration. Formalised in 2020, the agreement specifies the requirements that need to be met by Joby's aircraft for it to be certified for commercial operations. Joby is the first eVTOL aircraft to have achieved this milestone, marking a watershed moment for the industry and providing a clearly defined path for the certification of its aircraft.
Construction is expected to begin on a 450,000 square foot manufacturing facility, designed in conjunction with Toyota, later this year.