California-based aerospace company Joby Aviation has announced that it will be acquiring Uber aerial ridesharing unit Elevate as part of “an expanded partnership between the two parent companies.” Uber has also agreed to invest an additional $75 million in Joby, which is developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft, as part of the transaction. The deal is expected to close in early 2021.
“We were proud to partner with Uber Elevate last year and we’re even prouder to be welcoming them into the Joby team today, while deepening our cooperation with Uber,” said Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt. “The team at Uber Elevate has not only played an important role in our industry, they have also developed a remarkable set of software tools that build on more than a decade of experience enabling on-demand mobility. These tools and new team members will be invaluable to us as we accelerate our plans for commercial launch.”
Uber previously invested $50 million in Joby as part of the company’s January 2020 Series C financing round. Including Uber’s contributions, Joby reports that it has received funding totaling $820 million and formed partnerships with companies including Toyota, Intel and JetBlue. Joby says its unnamed eVTOL will seat a pilot and four passengers, have a top speed of 200 MPH and offer a range of 150 miles. The company hopes to have the aircraft in operation as early as 2023.