Urban Air Mobility
Joby Aviation partnering to create urban ride-sharing service
By Naomi Szeben
Joby Aviation an all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service based in California, announced it has partnered with two companies to develop takeoff and landing sites for its aerial ride-sharing service, launching in 2024.
The two companies are REEF Technology and Neighborhood Property Group: REEF is a parking garage operator focused on transforming these under-utilized assets into multi-use mobility hubs. REEF’s assets include more than 5,000 sites across North America and Europe and reach more than 70 percent of the American public. NPG is a real estate acquisition company affiliated with REEF for the targeted acquisition of mobility hubs across the United States.
Joby intends to offer a passenger service, accessible via an app, that offers riders a faster, emissions-free way to move distances of 5-150 miles in congested metropolitan areas at an accessible price point.
In December 2020, Joby announced the acquisition of Uber Elevate, integrating the team’s data, modeling, and insight into site selection.
Through the partnership, Joby gains access to a wide range of rooftop locations across all key metropolitan areas in the US, as well as a way to fund the acquisition and development of new skyport sites; parking garages are ideal landing sites for skyport sites. The companies will focus initially on Los Angeles, Miami, and the New York and San Francisco Bay Area metropolitan areas.
As part of the deal, Uber and Joby also agreed to integrate their services into each other’s apps, helping to create a seamless customer experience where an Uber car would bring riders to a skyport just in time for their flight and, if necessary, another car would complete the journey to their final destination.
In addition to working with NPG and REEF to identify parking structure locations, Joby’s aerial ridesharing network will tap into more than 5,000 existing heliports and regional airports across the US.
In February, Joby announced it had entered into a business combination agreement with Reinvent Technology Partners, a special purpose acquisition company, which will see the combined company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The transaction will provide Joby with approximately $1.6 billion in gross proceeds and will see the combined company valued at $6.6 billion post-money equity value.
Under the agreement, Joby will enjoy a period of exclusivity during which it can secure long-term rooftop leases within NPG and REEF’s network of parking garages.