An Uber-backed aerospace company looking to make flying taxis a reality by 2024 leaps 15% in its stock-market debut

Joby Aviation
  • Startup Joby Aviation, which aims to launch air taxis by 2024, surged 15% in its trading debut on Wednesday.
  • The aircraft designer went public via a SPAC merger with Reid Hoffman-backed Reinvent Technology Partners.
  • It expects to begin making its electric aircraft, which can take off and land vertically, next year.
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Stock in California-based Joby Aviation, a startup that promises to launch an air-taxi service by 2024, surged as much as 15% on its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Aircraft designer Joby, which has been working on electric aviation for over a decade, went public via a merger with special-purpose acquisition company Reinvent Technology Partners in a deal valuing it at $4.5 billion.

The SPAC is owned by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga founder Mark Pincus. Through the merger with Reinvent, Joby secured $1.6 billion in financing. Its common stock is listed under the ticker symbol “JOBY,” while stock warrants are listed under “JOBY WS.”

The company’s stock rose as much as 15% to $11.61 per share on Wednesday.

Joby displayed a prototype of its distinctive five-seater aircraft, brought in from California, outside the NYSE for its public debut, Forbes reported Wednesday.

The all-electric craft is designed for vertical takeoff and landing, and it will be able to carry a pilot and four passengers at up to 200 mph, according to Joby. CEO JoeBen Bevirt has said air taxis will allow people to reach their destinations five times faster than driving.

After working for several years with the Federal Aviation Administration, the company hopes to achieve certification for its ride-sharing aircraft in 2023 and expects to begin manufacturing its final design next year, Bloomberg reported.

Since its launch in 2009, Joby has raised more than $700 million in private capital after securing interest in its air-taxi protoypes from Uber and Toyota, according to Bloomberg. Its environment-friendly approach is intended to set it apart from long-established aerospace companies like Airbus, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.

The startup is looking to tap into advances in battery technology to be able to build what Bevirt described to Bloomberg as a “clean, zero-emission aircraft that’s quiet.”

Joby, which has offices in the US and Germany, employs more than 800 people.

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