Toyota Motor Corp. invested $394 million in Joby Aviation LLC under a partnership that will help the aerospace company develop an all-electric vertical take-off and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft.
The investment was part of Joby's $590 million series C funding round. Other investors that took part in the financing include Baillie Gifford & Co, Global Oryx and existing investors SPARX Group Co. Ltd., Intel Capital, Capricorn Investment Group LLC, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures LLC and AME Cloud Ventures.
As part of Toyota's investment, Shigeki Tomoyama, an executive vice president at the Japanese carmaker, will join Joby's board.
"The new collaboration with Joby Aviation is anticipated to help bring urban on-demand air transportation into the mainstream and initiate a new category of moving people and goods," Toyota said. It added that it believes eVTOLs will help improve mobility challenges like traffic congestion in urban areas and the lack of transportation in underpopulated places.
Toyota said it will share its expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost controls in the development and production of Joby's eVTOL aircraft.