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Air Taxi Service Joby Goes Public In SPAC Deal

Aerial rideshare company Joby Aviation went public Wednesday (Aug. 11) following a “business combination” with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Reinvent Technology Partners that values Joby at $4.5 billion, according to a press release.

“Aviation connects the world in critically important ways, but today it does that at the expense of our planet,” Joby Founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said in the release. “By taking Joby public, we have the opportunity to drive a renaissance in aviation, making emissions-free flight a part of everyday life. This is our generation’s moonshot moment, and at Joby we’re proud to be leaning in.”

Reid Hoffman, one of the co-founders of LinkedIn and an RTP director, called Joby “Tesla meets Uber in the air” thanks to its electric fleet, according to the release.

“We believe Joby is well-positioned with capital to be the first company to certification and commercialization,” said Hoffman in the release. “Closing this business combination accelerates Joby’s roadmap, and we look forward to supporting JoeBen and Joby’s world-class team in executing on their vision.”

The transaction values Joby at $4.5 billion enterprise value, with proceeds raised as cash on the balance sheet as of the end of the first quarter of 2021 equaling roughly $1.6 billion. The proceeds are expected to fund Joby through initial commercial operations, the release stated.

Founded in 2009, Joby has upward of 800 employees. In December, it acquired Uber Elevate, the ridesharing firm’s air taxi division. Uber has invested $125 million in the company, and Eric Allison, former Uber Elevate head, became head of product at Joby.

The company said it has completed more than 1,000 test flights, and last month logged a record 154-mile flight. It has partnerships with Toyota, JetBlue and the U.S. Air Force.

Hoffman formed the black check company with Zynga founder Mark Pincus. The SPAC raised $690 million last year.

Read more: LinkedIn And Zynga Founders To Merge SPAC With Flying Taxi Startup

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