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JetBlue Technology Ventures’ Portfolio Company Joby Aviation to List on NYSE Through Merger

JetBlue Technology Ventures’ portfolio company Joby Aviation will be listed on the NYSE through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Reinvent Technology Partners.

Joby Aviation’s Founder and CEO, JoeBen Bevirt, Delivers a Special Message on This Milestone Occasion – Courtesy Joby Aviation

On Wednesday (February 24, 2021), JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV), the corporate venture capital subsidiary of JetBlue, announced that their portfolio company, Jovi Aviation will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The listing will be possible via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Reinvent Technologies Partners. Upon transaction closing, the merged company will be called Joby Aviation, with shares trading publicly on the NYSE. Joby is currently building a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft that is expected to enter commercial service in 2024. The piloted aircraft will accommodate four passengers at up to 200 miles per hour and a range of 150 miles on a single charge. Joby’s eVTOL will also be approximately 100 times quieter than existing helicopters during takeoff and landing.

In today’s announcement, JetBlue Technology Partners’ Managing Director of Operations & partnerships, Amy Burr, said,

“At JetBlue Technology Ventures, we are excited about the transformative potential of eVTOLs and have always believed that Joby Aviation is the most advanced company in this emerging sector. This next step in Joby’s journey will ultimately deliver sustainable transportation that is safe and affordable for everyone.”

Also commenting on Joby Aviation, JTV’s Managing Director of Investments, Raj Singh, added,

“As with all of our investments, JetBlue Technology Ventures’ goal is to better position JetBlue with startup-led innovation that could radically change the travel industry. Travelers today are more conscious of their carbon footprint than ever before, so the reduction of pollution that comes with electrification is highly appealing.”

Further commenting on today’s announcement, JTV’s Founder, Bonny Simi, said,

“The regional transportation ecosystem is ripe for disruption, and startups like Joby Aviation will revolutionize how people move across urban areas. Joby’s vehicle platform will be the standard to beat. Nearly four years ago, we saw that Joby already was the emerging leader in the eVTOL space, and today’s developments validate our early investment.”

California-based Joby Aviation has spent over a decade developing their eVTOL aircraft, accumulating over 1,000 test flights to date and plans on launching their clean, quiet and affordable air taxi service in 2024. Joby is the first company to receive an eVTOL certification plan with the FAA, as well as the U.S. Air Force’s first-ever airworthiness approval for an eVTOL aircraft. Joby Aviation has a strategic production partnership with Toyota and recently Acquired Uber Elevate. The merger with the SPAC, Reinvent Technology Partners (NYSE: RTP), values the combined company at $6.6 billion (post-money equity value), and the transaction is expected to generate approximately $1.6 billion in gross proceeds.

In a separate announcement from Joby Aviation today, the company’s Founder and CEO, JoeBen Bevirt, 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.”

Joby Aviation’s eVTOL aircraft takes off vertically, before transitioning to forward flight and then landing vertically – Courtesy Joby Aviation

Also commenting on the merger, LinkedIn Co-Founder and Reinvent Technology Partners’ Co-Lead Director, Reid Hoffman, said,

“Reinvent invests in world-class founders and teams who are developing industry-leading products and services that have the potential to impact millions of lives. In Joby we see a remarkable founder-led team that has quietly delivered the most advanced technology we’ve seen in this sector. With valuable strategic partnerships including Toyota and Uber, a compelling business model and an unparalleled trach record of executing against its targets, we believe Joby is well-positioned to create a transformative new human-centered mobility network. Through our venture capital at scale approach, we are committed to Joby’s long-term success as it continues on its journey to revolutionize commutes and drive decades of innovation in human movement.”

During 2020, the Toyota Motor Corporation led Joby’s $620 million Series C round, forming a strategic partnership on projects such as factory layout and manufacturing process development. The company also recently finalized an enhanced relationship with Uber technologies, including app integration, allowing future customers to enjoy seamless multi-modal travel. Joby also acquired Uber Elevate, bringing key personnel and a suite of tools focused on multi-modal operations management and demand simulation. The company expects to begin construction of their 450,000 manufacturing facility, designed with Toyota, later this year.

Source(s): JetBlue, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Joby Aviation


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