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Toyota Invests $394M in Air-Taxi Startup

By Alex Ho

Investing.com - Japan-listed Toyota Motor Corp (T:7203) is investing $394 million in Joby Aviation, a U.S.-based air-taxi startup that has reportedly spent the last ten years designing an electric air-taxi prototype.

Toyota is the lead investor in Joby’s $590 million Series C funding, 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 prototype aircraft, which is said to be able to fly 150 miles on a single charge at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. It’s designed to carry four passengers and a pilot, the company said.

The news came after South Korean automaker Hyundai announced plans earlier this year to design and produce an air taxi with Uber Technologies.

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