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Electric-Air-Taxi Firm Joby to Go Public Via Reinvent SPAC

The electric-air-taxi startup Joby is going public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Reinvent Technology Partners.
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The electric-air-taxi startup Joby Aviation is going public through a reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company Reinvent Technology Partners  (RTP) - Get Reinvent Technology Partners Class A Report.

Reinvent Technology is a publicly listed blank check company controlled by LinkedIn  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report Co-Founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga  (ZNGA) - Get Zynga Inc. Report Founder Mark Pincus. 

"Today’s transaction lets us look ahead to the next decade and provides us with the resources we need to bring our vision to life," Joby Chief Executive JoeBen Bevirt said in a statement. 

Reinvent shares closed Wednesday trading 4% higher at $13.46.

They transaction values Joby, Santa Cruz, Calif., at $6.6 billion. 

The deal is expected to provide about $1.6 billion in gross proceeds, including $690 million from Reinvent and an $835 million private placement at $10 a share anchored by investors including Uber Technologies  (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report, Baupost Group, BlackRock,  (BLK) - Get BlackRock Inc. Report Fidelity and Baillie Gifford. 

The company, which will take the name Joby Aviation, hopes to take air taxis mainstream with its piloted electric emissions-free aircraft that can travel up to 150 miles at speeds up to 200 miles an hour. 

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The company has conducted more than 1,000 test flights in the past 10 years. Last year it became the first company to agree to a certification basis for an electric vertical takeoff and landing, or Evtol, aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration. 

It also received the U.S. Air Force's first ever airworthiness approval for an Evtol aircraft. 

Joby will use proceeds from the transaction to fund the business through the start of commercial operations in 2024. 

Hoffman will join Joby's board.

Joby has strategic partnerships with Toyota  (TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corporation Report and Uber, "a compelling business model" and a track record of executing against its targets, Hoffman said.

The company "is well-positioned to create a transformative new human-centered mobility network," Hoffman said.

Joby, founded in 2009 and employing more than 700 people, also said on Wednesday that it named Matthew Allen Field chief financial officer. Field is currently CFO for North America at Ford Motor  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report.