Air taxi startup, Joby Aviation, has announced it is to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) following a merger with Reinvent Technology Partners, a special purpose acquisition company that takes a “venture capital at scale” approach to partnering with bold leaders and 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 NYSE.

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. 

With more than 1,000 test flights completed over the last 10 years, Joby Aviation has secured a substantial first-mover advantage in the aerial ridesharing industry. In 2020, the Company became the first to agree to a certification basis for an electric vertical takeoff and landing (“eVTOL”) aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) and in the same year received the U.S. Air Force’s first ever airworthiness approval for an eVTOL aircraft.

The Company intends to revolutionize 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.

JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, said:

“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 them onboard.”

The Series C funding round, within which JIMCO participated, was led by Toyota Motor Corporation, forming a strategic partnership that sees Toyota engineers working shoulder-to-shoulder with Joby on projects such as factory layout and manufacturing process development.

Joby Aviation also recently finalized the terms of an enhanced relationship with Uber Technologies, Inc. that sets Joby apart in terms of commercial readiness. Under the agreement, the companies will integrate their respective services into each other’s apps, enabling future customers to enjoy seamless multi-modal travel. Joby also acquired Uber Elevate, a division of Uber focused on the aerial ridesharing market. The acquisition included key personnel and a suite of software tools focused on multi-modal operations management and demand simulation, fed by Uber’s data.

In December 2020, the U.S. Air Force granted Joby Aviation its first ever airworthiness approval for an eVTOL aircraft as part of its Agility Prime program, designed to accelerate the commercial adoption of electric aviation.

Earlier this month, Joby announced that it had agreed to a “G-1” certification basis for its aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration. Formalized 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.