Recently retired Air Canada president and CEO Calin Rovinescu and global technology and growth capital investor Mitch Garber have added their names as investors and advisors of Jaunt Air Mobility, developer of the Journey eVTOL aircraft headquartered in Dallas, Texas and with design and manufacturing located in Montreal, Canada.
"We are extremely pleased to have someone of Calin's extraordinary business and aviation experience support Jaunt Air Mobility," says CEO Martin Peryea. "His vision and global understanding of aerospace, aviation and capital markets should help to accelerate our evolution as a leading eVTOL company."
"Moreover, to have a highly successful tech and growth capital investor such as Mitch Garber also join us is extremely exciting," adds president Eric Cote. "Mitch's business acumen, experience with emerging businesses and insight into tomorrow's technologies will add enormous value to the future success of the Jaunt Journey."
Rovinescu served as president and CEO of Air Canada from 2009 to 2021. Skytrax recognised Air Canada as the Best Airline in North America in eight of 10 years under his leadership and as the only four-star network carrier in North America. While there, Rovinescu also served as chairman of the Star Alliance chief executive board, the controlling body of the world's largest global airline alliance, and as chairman of the board of governors of the International Air Transport Association. He was previously a co-founder of Genuity Capital Markets, an independent investment bank now part of Canaccord Genuity Group and before that the managing partner of Stikeman Elliott, a leading Canadian law firm. In 2021, he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.
"I have been impressed both by Jaunt's innovative but practical aircraft design, combining helicopter and fixed wing aircraft flight capabilities, and the team's entrepreneurship and understanding of what is required for certification, commercialisation and market penetration in this new and emerging eVTOL industry," says Rovinescu. "I am especially pleased with the company's plan to include Quebec and Canada in the design and manufacture of these aircraft involving new battery technology, digital capability and advanced engineering. Jaunt will be a catalyst for quality jobs within the green economy and will continue to advance Canada as an innovative and transformative global aerospace player."
Mitch Garber has recently made several early-stage investments in what have become innovative unicorns and deca-corns such as Playtika, Snowflake, Datadog, Pipe.com and Relativity Space. Mitch has led public companies on the Toronto, London and Nasdaq stock exchanges. He is a frequent co-investor and board member in large private equity transactions alongside Apollo Global Management and TPG. He is also a minority owner and executive committee member of the NHL Seattle Kraken and the chairman of Invest in Canada.
Garber explains: "Cloud computing, rocket/space and mobile games are examples of areas of high growth where we've been fortunate enough to back the right players. EVTOL air taxis is an obvious next-gen hyper-growth area, and my wife and I have part of our investment portfolio focused on ESG and supporting Quebecan and Canadian companies. Quebec-based Jaunt Canada caught our attention with its new form of green, clean aviation technology. It is an opportunity to build a transportation system that changes how we move and facilitate a greener efficient global economy. It leverages the unique assets of Canadians and our aerospace heritage, and the experienced team at Jaunt demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the business and the future."
On 10 March, 2022 Jaunt became a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRO Group Holdings. The AIRO Group is a multi-faceted air mobility, autonomy and aerospace platform with differentiated technologies and capabilities addressing high growth market trends across the entire drone ecosystem; data systems, commercial manned/unmanned aircraft systems, resupply package delivery, military aerospace training and avionics technologies. It brings together a portfolio of seven well-positioned companies with a view to creating a new mid-market aerospace and defense sector champion through its strong return profile and growth opportunities through additional future acquisitions.