South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) is making a $100 million equity investment in Joby Aviation, building on a partnership it started with the eVTOL aircraft developer last year. The companies announced the agreement on June 29 but said it was signed two days earlier before its roll-out ceremony for the first production-conforming prototype on June 28.
The new funding will support Joby’s participation with SKT in the Korea Urban Air Mobility (K-UAM) Grand Challenge to prepare the way for the start of eVTOL air services in the Asian country. The program is supported by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.
In a June 27 Securities and Exchange Commission 8K filing, Joby reported that in a private placement it has sold just over 15 million shares to SKT at a per-share price of $6.65. Joby's stock on the New York Stock Exchange closed at a price of $8.96 on June 28.
California-based Joby first signed a collaboration agreement with SKT in February 2022 and then expanded this in May 2022 to include mobility platform TMAP. Major South Korean companies Hyundai Motor and Hanwha are closely involved in the new sector as major investors, respectively, in eVTOL developers Supernal and Overair.
“We will do our utmost to promote the demonstration and commercialization of urban air mobility in Korea, based on our partnership with Joby Aviation,” commented Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. “This technology promises to greatly reduce customers travel time and we look forward to turning Korea into a mobility powerhouse.”