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Joby Aviation is close to a deal to go public via a merger with blank-check company Reinvent Technology Partners (NYSE: RTP) in a deal that will value the eVTOL developer at $5.7 billion, according to the Financial Times.
Reinvent Technology, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga founder Mark Pincus, holds $600 million in trust to be invested in the target company in combination with an expected private investment in public equity (PIPE). Sources familiar with ongoing conversations expect the total investment in Joby to be between $1-1.5 billion.
Less than two months into 2021, the nascent eVTOL industry appears to have eclipsed the previous year’s fundraising haul. On Feb. 10, Archer announced it will merge with Atlas Crest Investment Corp. (NYSE: ACIC) at a $2.7 billion valuation that will net the company $1.1 billion in proceeds. Archer also announced an investment and $1 billion tentative purchase agreement from United Airlines — despite not yet revealing a full-size aircraft prototype.
More nine- and 10-figure deals are expected to close in the coming weeks, people familiar with ongoing financial discussions tell eVTOL.com.
Lilium is in talks with SPACs, most notably Qell Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: QELL), according to multiple sources, with a deal likely in the next few weeks. The German air taxi-maker was previously reported as in talks with Zanite Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: ZNTE).
Volocopter, the other major German eVTOL developer, is also said to be in talks to go public via a reverse merger. Company CFO Rene Griemens previously told eVTOL.com that he considered SPACs to be a “great financing option for our industry.”
Former Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg was named as chairman of New Vista Acquisition Corp., a SPAC with $200 million in assets seeking an emerging aerospace company developing eVTOL aircraft or related technology.
All told, close to $2 billion in committed SPAC funds are currently searching for acquisition targets in the eVTOL and urban air mobility space, sources tell eVTOL.com.
Stocks for public eVTOL and urban air mobility companies, following the high level of interest in Tesla and other electric vehicle developers seen last year, have skyrocketed in recent months.
Blade Urban Air Mobility, which in December announced plans to merge with blank-check company Experience Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: EXPC), is up 60 percent from before the announcement. ACIC, Archer’s SPAC partner, jumped more than 25 percent after its acquisition announcement.