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Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel invests in flying taxi firm

Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel invests in flying taxi firm

Jameel Investment Management Company (JIMCO), the investment arm of Saudi family business Abdul Latif Jameel, has ploughed money into Joby Aviation, a California-based start-up which develops electric air taxis.

Although the exact size of its investment was not revealed, JIMCO took part in a Series C round of funding, which raised $590 million in capital for Joby Aviation,.

The funding was led by Toyota Motor Company (TMC) alongside Baillie Gifford.

Adding to new and prior investments by SPARX Group, Intel Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, JetBlue Technology Ventures, 8VC, Toyota AI Ventures and AME Cloud Ventures, the latest investment round brings Joby Aviation’s total funding to $720m – making it the best-funded electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) start-up globally.

Hassan Jameel, deputy president and vice chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel, said: “Air taxi service is still in the early stages of commercialisation, but one that has the potential to completely transform the future of mobility.

“We are excited to be a part of this new chapter for the sector, bringing fast, affordable, and zero-emissions air mobility to Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region. Improving daily transportation in line with environmental sustainability is a mission we share with all our partners in business, and one which we are committed to delivering on.”

Founded in 2009, Joby Aviation’s mission is to get people to their destination five times faster than driving, reduce urban congestion, and accelerate the shift to sustainable modes of transit.

Paul Sciarra, executive chairman of Joby Aviation, added: “We are very pleased to have Abdul Latif Jameel as new backers in our recent Series C financing round. We respect their track-record of significant investment in the future of electric mobility.”