According to the latest report, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and tech entrepreneur Mark Pincus are nearing a deal to merge their blank cheque company with Joby Aviation. People who know the matter in length said the flying taxi developer is valued at about US $ 5.7 billion.
In 2020, Reinvent Technology Partners, their special purpose acquisition company has raised a sum of $690 million in a public listing. Reinvent Technology Partners is finalizing financing for the deal. An agreement could be announced as early as within this month. If successful, the merger will provide Joby with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. It should be noted that Joby is backed by Japanese carmaker Toyota and British investment manager Baillie Gifford.
Joby is the latest electrically powered transportation company that plans to go public via a Spac at an early stage in its development despite having no sizeable revenue. According to the company, so far, Joby has built a prototype that has flown more than 600 flights. The company further said it is targeting Federal Aviation Administration certification within 2023 and hopes to start commercial operation within a year of achieving the certification.
The Santa Cruz based company which founded in 2009 has more than 500 employees. Last year, in December, it acquired Uber Elevate, the flying taxi arm of the ride-sharing group. Uber has also invested a sum of $125 million in Joby. Eric Allison, who was the former head of Uber Elevate, is now Joby’s head of product.
The specific timing of the Spac merger deal depends on how quickly Hoffman and Pincus manage to raise additional funding from institutional and private investors. According to PitchBook, Joby has raised $ 803 million so far. He also said that many in the industry consider it to be the first electric flying taxi developer that will go public this year. Germany’s Lilium is considered as another top candidate. Earlier this week, Archer, a lesser known rival has surprised many experts by announcing a public listing of US $ 3.8 billion and an order worth of $1 billion from United Airlines that is conditioned on obtaining regulatory approval for its so-called electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
Back in 2016, Hoffman sold off LinkedIn to Microsoft at a rate of $26 billion in 2016, and Pincus, one of the co-founders of Zynga video game maker launched two Spacs. It is worth mention that after Reinvent Technology Partners, they launched a smaller vehicle called Reinvent Technology Partners Z.
Last month a study conducted by Deloitte and the Aerospace Industries Association predicted the US “air mobility market” would begin deployment in 2025, and reap $115 billion revenue by 2035 creating 280,000 jobs.
Deloitte’s Robin Lineberger said, “With the market poised to grow sevenfold between 2025 and 2035, it’s important for US policymakers and industries to co-operate now to ensure American leadership in this transformative emerging sector.”