Uber offloads air taxi business to Joby Aviation and invests $75m into the startup

Joby will receive $75 million and the Uber Elevate business as part of the deal.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Uber Technologies has confirmed the offloading of its flying taxi business Uber Elevate to US aerospace startup Joby Aviation.

As part of the deal, Uber will invest a further $75 million into Joby. This investment comes in addition to a previously undisclosed $50 million investment made as part of Joby's Series C financing round in January.

"Advanced air mobility has the potential to be exponentially positive for the environment and future generations," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said. "This deal allows us to deepen our partnership with Joby, the clear leader in this field, to accelerate the path to market for these technologies."

The companies will expand their partnership as part of the deal, which will see the integration of their respective services into each other's apps, thereby "enabling seamless integration between ground and air travel for future customers". 

"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," Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said.

"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 Elevate, formerly known as Uber Air, was touted by the company as an "urban aviation ride-sharing product". Uber was pushing the service as a response to ease traffic congestion on the ground. In reality, the idea was a bold, expensive, and dystopian dream.

The company in August 2018 announced five possible markets to launch its pipedream: Australia, Brazil, France, India, and Japan. It also confirmed that from 2023, customers will be able to get a flight on-demand in Dallas and Los Angeles.

Joby, meanwhile, is developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing passenger aircraft, which it intends to operate as early as 2023.


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