Liftoff on Wall Street: Santa Cruz electric air-taxi company Joby Aviation goes public
“By taking Joby public we have the opportunity to drive a renaissance in aviation, making emissions-free flight a part of everyday life,” North Coast native and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said. “This is our generation’s moonshot moment, and at Joby we’re proud to be leaning in.”
Joby Aviation has landed on Wall Street.
The Santa Cruz-based aerial ridesharing company took the next step in bringing its electric air taxis to market Wednesday with its public trading debut on the New York Stock Exchange.
The move has been in the works since February, when Joby announced its merger with Reinvent Technology Partners, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) — a so-called “blank check” company founded to facilitate a merger or acquisition.
“We’re so excited about the opportunity to give everyone the ability to share in this really exciting journey as we move to a zero-emissions future,” CEO JoeBen Bevirt said in an interview with CNBC after he and other Joby execs rang the opening bell on the Wall Street trading floor. “This financing today really helps us accelerate the manufacturing and the scaling of the service.”
After closing Tuesday at $10.03 per share, Joby stock — trading under ticker symbol JOBY — closed at $13.31 Wednesday, an opening-day jump of nearly 33%.
Under its deal with Reinvent Technology Partners, Joby was to receive $1.6 billion in capital — cash Joby plans to use to launch a commercial air taxi service in 2024 — and the company was valued at $4.5 billion.
Another key cog in the plan, North Coast native Bevirt noted in his CNBC interview, is Joby’s effort to secure landing spots for its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in cities across the U.S. where it’s aiming to launch its taxi service — the greater San Francisco Bay Area, plus Los Angeles, Miami and New York.
That effort began to take shape in June, when Joby announced a partnership with REEF Technology and Neighborhood Property Group to repurpose the top level of parking garages as takeoff and landing pads for the company’s aerial taxis.
Joby executive chairman Paul Sciarra acknowledged the challenges that come with being a public company in an interview with TechCrunch but said the mission is unchanged.
“We can’t control the markets,” he said. “[Joby] is a company that’s been executing quietly for a very long time on things that matter. I think it’s going to be incumbent upon us to do the same as we make this transition to a public company: tell folks what we’re going to do, and then go out and do them. That, quarter by quarter, is what builds credibility, what combats skepticism, and what gives investors and frankly, the broader public, confidence that this is a company that means what it says.”