Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Baillie Gifford invests $180M in Joby Aviation

May 4, 2023
A multi-rotor Joby Aviation aircraft sits on display outside the New York Stock Exchange.

A Joby Aviation eVTOL on display outside the New York Stock Exchange for the company’s IPO in 2021. Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Asset manager Baillie Gifford is pouring another $180 million into electric aircraft developer Joby Aviation, as federal regulators are taking new steps to clear the way for the mosquito-like machines.

Why it matters: The reinvestment from a traditionally conservative institutional investor reflects major confidence in a technology that won't reach consumers until next year at the earliest.

Driving the news: Baillie Gifford is buying nearly 44 million newly issued shares at $4.10 per share, Joby announced in its Q1 earnings report.

  • The sale is expected to close May 5. Baillie Gifford previously invested $15 million in Joby's $590 million Series C in 2020, plus another $49 million in the PIPE associated with Joby's SPAC merger in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration is planning potential new traffic lanes for the air taxis being developed by Joby and a host of other startups.

Context: Other developers of electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft include Volocopter, Archer, Beta, and Wisk.

Of note: Joby is ranked at the top of a "reality index" scorecard maintained by SMG Consulting, which aims to measure progress toward "delivery of a certified product at mass scale production."

💭 Our thought bubble: We always take those types of scorecards with a grain of salt. But Joby in February completed the second of five certification stages with the FAA, is making progress toward the third, and landed another $55 million contract in April with the Department of Defense.

Go deeper