As electric vertical take-off and landing passenger aircraft start-up Joby Aviation targets North America for its initial commercial launch, founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt expects the company to have a presence in Asia as well. and in Europe.
Bevirt, who joined the TC: Mobility 2021 sessions on June 9, did not give the first location; although recent announcements suggest that it is limited to Los Angeles, Miami, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area. But he weighed in on what these first cities will look like.
“I imagine we will have early markets in each of the three regions,” he said. “Our initial launch market will be in North America just because of the proximity to the link where most of our team is currently located. But there are amazing opportunities and cities around the world and we want to bring as many benefits to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. And that’s why we’re so focused on scaling up manufacturing.
Joby Aviation should to begin construction of a 450,000 square foot manufacturing facility, designed in collaboration with Toyota, later this year. The company has already completed a pilot manufacturing facility.
Joby, once a secret start-up, had a much more public following six months later. The company has entered into an agreement for merge with the ad hoc acquisition company Reinvent Technology Partners, formed by Well-known investor and co-founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman, Michael Thompson and founder of Zynga Mark Pincus. Hoffman also joined Bevirt at the TC Sessions: Mobility event.
Prior to his SPAC deal, Joby had captured the attention and attention of investors over the years by developing his eVTOL. Toyota has become a major funder and partner, leading a $ 620 million Series C fundraiser in January 2020. Almost a year later, Joby acquired the moonshot air taxi from Uber Elevate as part of of a complex agreement.
Today, Joby is focused on certification, which he has been working with the FAA on since 2018, as well as the manufacturing of his eVTOL aircraft. The company is also starting to put the pieces together for how and where it will operate. And that adds to its size. Over the past year, Joby has doubled its workforce, which now stands at around 800.
Earlier this month, Joby Aviation announced a partnership with REEF Technology, one of the country’s largest parking operators, and real estate acquisition company Neighborhood Property Group to expand its network of vertiports, initially focusing over Los Angeles, Miami, New York. and the San Francisco Bay Area.
As 2024 arrives, Bevirt plans to launch into one to two cities in that first year of operation.
“We want to provide coverage that is deep enough for consumers to have a transformative experience,” said Bevirt. “There have been cases where if a new service is launched and there isn’t enough supply, consumers can get frustrated, haven’t they. And so we want to make sure that we can, that we can really serve, at least some of the demand and provide a truly rewarding experience for our customers. I think that’s the thing that we really care about as a company is making customers into enthusiastic fans.