Forbes reports that California startup Joby Aviation, one of the leaders in the race to field an electric air taxi, will go public through a reverse merger with Reinvent Technology Partners, a US$ 690 million, publicly listed blank check company controlled by LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman and Zynga founder Mark Pincus, the companies announced Wednesday.

The deal was designed with long restrictions on sales of the stock by key players, which could shelter Joby from some of the instability and short-term focus of Wall Street, with Hoffman and Pincus committing to play the type of multi-year mentoring role more often seen with venture-capital investors.

Forbes reports that when Hoffman and Pincus launched Reinvent Technology Partners last year, they said they would take a different approach than the quick score tactics of many other special purpose acquisition vehicles, or SPACs, aiming for a long-term relationship with a merger partner that they described as “venture capital at scale.” 

In February 2020, Jameel Investment Management Company (JIMCO), the global investment arm of the Jameel Family, announced its participation in a Series C round of funding for Joby Aviation, which raised an additional US$ 620 million in capital.  The investment is in line with Abdul Latif Jameel’s strategy of making high-stakes investments in the future of mobility. 

Photo credit: Ethan Pines, Forbes

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