Shares of Joby Aviation (JOBY), which develops aircraft for commercial passengers, jumped as much as 30% in early trading on Thursday after the announcement of a $100 million investment by South Korea's SK Telecom (SKM).
Key Points to Remember
- Joby Aviation received $100 million equity investment from SK Telecom.
- Toyota and Uber were early investors in air taxi company eVTOL.
- US aviation regulators also approved test flight plans.
SKT is working on air carpooling or air taxis, alongside the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The equity deal announced on June 29 could open the door for Joby to play an important role in the country's “K-UAM Grand Challenge”, demonstrating the potential of an air taxi service.
“Our partnership with SKT places Joby is in the best possible position to capitalize on the opportunity presented by the Korean market, where we continue to see a strong government drive to achieve air ridesharing,” said the founder and Joby CEO JoeBen Bevirt SKT CEO Ryu Young-sang said commercial flights “promise to significantly reduce customer travel time”.
Joby has now received a total of $2 billion in funding, including approximately $400 million from Japanese automaker Toyota(TM). U.S. ride-hailing company Uber (UBER) also invested, ahead of the August 2021 initial public offering (IPO), according to Crunchbase data. Joby announced this week that Toyota North America CEO Tetsuo Ogawa will join its board of directors this Saturday.
U.S. aviation regulators have given the go-ahead for test flights, and the company began production on Wednesday of its new electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, which will be the first of nine vehicles on a $131 million contract with the US Air Force.
McKinsey analysts say & #39;in 2030, Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operators “could rival today's largest airlines in terms of flights per day and fleet size”.
Joby shares are rising over 210% year to date.
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