US-based Joby Aviation takes over Uber’s air taxi business Elevate

REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

Joby Aviation, an electric passenger aircraft developer, said on Tuesday it would take over Uber Technologies Inc’s flying taxi unit, Elevate, the second cash-burning business the ride-hailing company has sold off in two days.

Joby did not disclose the terms of the deal, but said Uber had also agreed to invest a further $75 million in the Santa Cruz, California-based company, bringing its total investment to $125 million. Joby has raised more than $720 million in funding since it was founded in 2009, most of it from Toyota Motor Corp.

Uber on Monday announced the sale of its self-driving unit to autonomous vehicle startup Aurora in a move it said would accelerate the ride-sharing company’s goal to achieve profitability.

Uber has promised investors to achieve profitability on a basis of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by the end of 2021. During the last quarter, Uber reported a $625 million adjusted EBITDA loss.

The company has said it would focus on its core ride-hailing and food delivery platforms to achieve profitability and implemented stringent cost cutting measures, including large rounds of layoffs.

While losses at Uber’s self-driving, Elevate and other technology programs had slightly narrowed this year, the company still reported a third quarter $104 million adjusted EBITDA loss for the segment.

Elevate began in 2016 and its team until earlier this year promised the launch of flying taxi services in Los Angeles, Dallas and Melbourne in 2023.

Uber and Joby on Tuesday said they would each integrate the other company’s services into their own app to allow customers to book seamless ground and air transportation in the future.

Uber in January announced it had partnered with South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co to develop electric air taxis as part of its Elevate program.

Hyundai did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.