Joby, electric air taxi maker, debuts on Wall Street
Electric Air Taxi maker Joby Aviation launched their IPO and made its debut on Wall Street today after completing a reverse merger with Reinvent Technology Partners, a listed blank check business controlled by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga Inc. co-founder Mark Pincus. With the ticker symbol JOBY, shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, putting public investors’ faith in the company’s plans to build and operate a commercial fleet of aerial taxis by 2024.
The proceeds of the transaction along with cash on the balance sheet as of March 31, amount to over $1.6 billion. Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt hopes to prove its safety and become certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration by the end of 2023, making it the first electric air taxi in the U.S. to be certified for passenger service.
Joby has plans to develop an electric air taxi service through their partnerships, such as Uber who is both an investor and partner. Uber stated they will enable Joby’s service to its customers and provide transportation to Joby departure and arrival sites. Bevirt has a goal to develop air taxi networks at a price of $3 per mile, which is cheaper than an Uber Black ride. If all goes to plan, Bevirt foresees an aerial ride-sharing service in a number of U.S. cities including Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco by 2024
Unfortunately the FAA has yet to certify any electric air taxis or aircrafts, let alone ones that take off and land vertically (VTOL). Joby along with other electric air taxi developers are expected to tread slowly, which can endanger the startups’ lofty launch dates and bankrolls with the possibility of requiring safety improvements that add weight and reduce performance in ways that jeopardize the aircraft’s commercial viability.
Joby is one of the major companies that aims to provide consumers the option of flying between cities by electric air taxis. Since today’s market open, Joby shares had jumped $3.37 by the closing bell resulting in a 33.6% increase. Their first public presentation of the aircraft was done this morning in front of the NYSE building by showcasing a prototype of their five-seat electric air taxi, bringing a physical example to New Yorkers of what’s to come in the foreseeable future.