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Fri, Feb 09, 2018

Joby Aviation Secures $100M In Series B Funding

Company Hopes To Make Electric Vertical Take-off And Landing Transportation A Reality

Joby Aviation has secured $100M in Series B financing to take its all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft into pre-production and certification. The financing was led by Intel Capital, and includes strategic investors Singapore-based EDBI, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Toyota AI Ventures. Also participating are new investors Allen & Company, AME Cloud Ventures, and Ron Conway, as well as existing investors Capricorn Investment Group, 8VC, Sky Dayton and Paul Sciarra. With its previously-unannounced Series A financing led by Capricorn in 2016, this brings the company’s total funding to over $130 million.

As technological and material advancements usher in a transformation of the $10T transportation industry, Joby Aviation is leading eVTOL innovation and has designed, built and flight-tested a fully-electric, vertical take-off and landing passenger aircraft that is optimized for local and regional air-transportation-as-a-service. Joby Aviation’s 5-seat vehicle will be faster than existing rotorcraft, fly at least 150 miles on a charge, and be 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and near-silent in flyover.

Joby Aviation is focused on building a new transportation solution that rises above the constraints of ground infrastructure to offer a safe, sustainable, and much faster means of getting from point A to point B. The company aims to solve the problem of city congestion and long commute times.

“People waste billions of hours sitting on roads worldwide each year. We envision a future where commuting by eVTOL is a safer, faster, and cost-competitive alternative to ground transportation,” said Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt. “We have spent the last ten years developing the technologies that have made our full-scale technical demonstrator possible and are now ready to build a commercial version of the aircraft. We’re excited to have attracted the backing of leaders in auto manufacturing, data intelligence, and transportation sectors.”

In addition to focusing on product development and flight certification, the company plans to expand its team—including experts in structural engineering, electrical engineering, power electronics, battery electrochemistry, certification, flight controls, and software.

“Intel believes the future of transportation is data-driven – whether you’re talking about autonomous cars or next-generation air travel,” said Wendell Brooks, president, Intel Capital. “Joby Aviation has been laser-focused on delivering a unique vehicle into the market. This is a truly disruptive technology with the potential to push the geographic boundaries of where people can live and work.”

“For over a decade, Capricorn has been investing in companies tackling tough, high-impact challenges,” said Dipender Saluja, managing partner of the Technology Impact Fund, Capricorn Investment Group. “Some of these companies have gone on to become global leaders in electric ground transportation, space and earth imaging. We were excited to lead the Series A financing of Joby in 2016, and look forward to continuing our work with them in this new stage of their vehicle development program.”

“Joby Aviation’s advanced leadership in the eVTOL industry will significantly alleviate transportation challenges on the ground, and enable rapid and reliable commuting between and within cities,” said Ms. Swee Yeok CHU, CEO and president, EDBI. “We look forward to Joby contributing to future urban aerial mobility.”

“At JetBlue Technology Ventures, we believe the regional transportation ecosystem is ripe for disruption and startups like Joby Aviation will revolutionize how people move across urban areas,” said Bonny Simi, president, JetBlue Technology Ventures. “We are excited about the transformative potential of eVTOLs and believe Joby Aviation is the most advanced company in this emerging sector. Its vehicle platform will be the standard to beat.”

“Toyota's mission is to improve human mobility,” said Jim Adler, managing director, Toyota AI Ventures. “Joby Aviation's vision of delivering safe, affordable and accessible air-transportation-as-a-service fits squarely in our view of the future of transportation: one that is highly networked and increasingly automated.”

(Source: Joby Aviation. Artists concept image provided)

FMI: jobyaviation.com

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