Joby Aviation makes its public trading debut on the NYSE

Joby Aviation is now public, 12 years after JoeBen Bevirt founded the company at his ranch in the Santa Cruz mountains. The air taxi developer began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday under the ticker symbol…

“JOBY,” after completing a merger with special purpose acquisition company Reinvent Technology Partners.

As of 10:00 AM ET, the price per share was at $11.01, up 9.8% from its prior-day closing amount.

Joby’s post-transaction valuation now stands at $4.5 billion, the largest in the industry. It also now has the highest cash balance. All told, Joby has around $1.6 billion in total capital to take its air taxi operations to commercialization in 2024. That includes $835 million of private-investment-in-public-equity, as well as more than $500 million of capital on the balance sheet.

RTP reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that around 63% of the 69 million ordinary shares were redeemed prior to the public trading debut, giving Joby access to $255 million out of the $690 million of cash held in trust from the blank-check firm.

It’s a sizable amount, but creating an entirely new form of transportation is a capital-intensive business. Joby’s executive chairman Paul Sciarra told TechCrunch he thinks $1.6 billion will be enough to prepare the company for launch.

“We think that’s enough to execute on the things that matter over the next few years, and those are […] one, ensuring that we execute on the certification program; two, showing we can demonstrate our ability to repeatedly manufacturing these aircraft in a certifiable way; and then third and finally, the opportunity to lay the groundwork for commercial launch,” Sciarra said.

Joby is developing a five-seat electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, which it unveiled to much anticipation in February. The company, which has backing from…

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