24 February, 2021

JetBlue's Joby Aviation expects to see its air taxis flying over American cities within ten years.

Joby Aviation, a portfolio company of budget carrier JetBlue's venture capital arm releases footage of its revolutionary all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft in flight. The company is also celebrating an important milestone on its journey to making its air taxi service a reality. 

 With more than 1,000 test flights completed over the last 10 years, Joby intends to use its piloted, four-passenger aircraft to launch a commercial passenger service beginning in 2024.

The company expects to revolutionize how people move by unlocking the possibility to leapfrog over the gridlock below in its emissions-free vehicle, which can travel up to 150 miles at speeds up to 200 miles per hour. The aircraft is quiet in take-off and near silent when flying overhead.

The company also announced earlier today that it has entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Reinvent Technology Partners a special purpose acquisition company that takes a ‘venture capital at scale’ approach to partnering with bold leaders and companies.

The transaction values the combined company at $6.6 billion post money, and is expected to provide approximately $1.6 billion in gross proceeds, which is expected to fund the company through the start of commercial operations.

“For the last decade, we have been laser-focused on one task – developing the best possible technology for changing the way we move and live with accelerated travel and commute times,” said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation. “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."

“While travelling is central to human existence, it’s often painfully inefficient and is only getting worse,” said Paul Sciarra, executive chairman of Joby Aviation. “By rethinking how air travel is delivered, we can open up new ways of moving around congested cities and under-served rural communities, helping to tackle congestion and climate change at the same time. Aerial ridesharing will drive a generational shift in how we travel this century, just as the railroad and the jet aircraft did in previous centuries.”

“Joby has a remarkable founder-led team that has quietly delivered the most advanced technology we’ve seen in this sector,” said Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and co-lead director of Reinvent Technology Partners, who will join the Board of Directors of the combined company. “With valuable strategic partnerships including Toyota and Uber, a compelling business model and an unparalleled track-record of executing against its targets, we believe Joby is well-positioned to create a transformative new human-centred mobility network." 

“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,” said Amy Burr, Managing Director of Operations & Partnerships at JTV.

JTV’s initial 2017 strategic investment in Joby aligns with its commitment to identifying transportation solutions powered by alternative propulsion systems.

“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. Travellers today are more conscious of their carbon footprint than ever before, so the reduction of pollution that comes with electrification is highly appealing,” said Raj Singh, Managing Director of Investments at JTV.

“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,” said JTV founder Bonny Simi.

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