Toyota to invest $394 million in air-taxi startup

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Toyota to invest $394 million in air-taxi startup

Japan-based Toyota Motor Corp is investing $394 million in Joby Aviation, a U.S.-based air-taxi startup. The startup has reportedly spent the last ten years designing an electric air-taxi prototype.

Toyota is the lead investor in Joby’s Series C funding costing up to $590 million, according to Bloomberg. Other investors include Baillie Gifford and Global Oryx and prior backers Intel Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, JetBlue Technology Ventures, SPARX Group.

“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 Chief Executive Officer 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.”

Joby recently released an image of its 4-passenger prototype aircraft, after South Korean automaker Hyundai announced plans earlier this year to design and manufacture an air taxi with Uber Technologies.

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