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The secretive California startup Joby Aviation has taken the wraps off its S4 eVTOL air taxi and announced $590 million in Series C funding — including a $394 million investment by Toyota Motor Corp.
Joby revealed photographs of the all-electric S4 — designed to carry four passengers plus a pilot — on Jan. 15. The vehicle will be capable of speeds of 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour) and will have a range of more than 150 miles (240 km) on a single charge, the company said. Joby also promised that the S4 will be 100 times quieter than a conventional aircraft during take-off and landing, and “near-silent in flyover.”
The Series C round brings the company’s total funding to $720 million. According to a press release, prior investors — including SPARX Group, Intel Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, and AME Cloud Ventures — also contributed to the round, and were joined by new investors Baillie Gifford and Global Oryx (ALJ family’s investment arm). Shigeki Tomoyama, the executive vice president of Toyota Motor Corporation, will join Joby Aviation’s board of directors.
“Air transportation has been a long-term goal for Toyota, and while we continue our work in the automobile business, this agreement sets our sights to the sky,” said Toyota president and CEO Akio Toyoda. “As we take up the challenge of air transportation together with Joby, an innovator in the emerging eVTOL space, we tap the potential to revolutionize future transportation and life.”