Start-up air taxi developer Joby Aviation has become a publicly traded company by merging with investment firm Reinvent Technologies Partners.

The deal has left Joby, which is developing an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, with proceeds and cash of $1.6 billion, it says on 10 August.

“The proceeds are expected to fund Joby through initial commercial operations,” Joby says.

Joby Aviation_Aircraft_3

Source: Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation expects its eVTOL to enter commercial operations in 2024.

Based in Silicon Valey, Joby is working toward achieving certification of an eVTOL that it intends to use to launch air taxi operations. The company has also applied to the US Federal Aviation Administration for an operating certificate under Part 135 rules. It expects for its aircraft to be flying passengers by 2024.

Based on the transaction with Reinvent, Joby says its business is worth $4.5 billion. When announcing its go-public plan in February, Joby had pegged its value at $6.6 billion.

Joby completed its public transition via a now-popular path: merging with a type of firm that financiers call “special purpose acquisition companies” (SPAC), also known as “blank check” companies. Such operations are already publicly traded, established for the purpose of bringing promising partners public.

Several small aerospace and air taxi companies are pursuing similar go-public strategies.

In February, Joby released a video of its five-seat eVTOL in flight. The aircraft will have one pilot and seats for five passengers, and range up to 130nm (241km) on a single charge.