Jan 16, 2020

Electric air taxi developer Joby Aviation raises $590 million

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Joby Aviation's Aircraft in Santa Cruz, Calif. Photo: Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based developer of electric air taxis, raised $590 million in Series C funding led by existing backer Toyota.

Why it matters: It's by far the largest-ever investment for an air taxi company, and already makes 2020 the record year for such deals.

  • Other investors include Baillie Gifford, Global Oryx, SPARX Group, Intel Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and AME Cloud Ventures.

The bottom line, via Axios' Joann Muller: "Automakers are confronting serious challenges to their core business — congestion and climate change mean there’s a limit to how many cars and trucks they can sell. As they experiment with new forms of future mobility, they might as well look to the skies."

Go deeper: Hyundai unveils flying taxi for Uber

Go deeper

John Kelly defends James Mattis against Trump attacks

John Kelly in the White House in July 2017. Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly defended James Mattis on Thursday after President Trump attacked the former defense secretary as "the world's most overrated general" and claimed on Twitter that he was fired.

What he's saying: “The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly told the Washington Post in an interview. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused."

Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.