Seems fine as a technical play - although their higher valuations may have been driven by bull market + EV hype
Looking into them it’s unclear what probable news would make it move significantly though
Difficult business model to implement - batteries are heavy, unclear how they would effectively implement high frequency short hops with current infrastructure
They aren’t generating any income
They don’t appear to have many aircraft actually built yet
“Joby Aviation, Inc. (NYSE:JOBY) is a California-headquartered transportation company developing an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient air taxi service beginning in 2024.”
Seems like they are on some sort of legitimacy track. Not 100% sure on the specifics of what is required for commercial operation though
“Joby adds second pre-production prototype aircraft to accelerate flight testing in 2022; Second aircraft received FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate and US Air Force airworthiness approval in December 2021; US Air Force approval was granted just six days after FAA approval” - from 01/06/2022
Looks like they have a massive international team and have been around for a decade doing R&D
It looks fairly SPY correlated today - no news that made it run
I had a conversation with someone familiar with JOBY (and aviation in general) about the FAA approval pipeline and they told me that ‘Full Airworthiness Certification’ is the next step after ‘Special Airworthiness Certification’ and that the former is sufficient for commercial operation. Historically the Full hasn’t taken too long to be granted after the Special - although JOBY may be an unusual case given that they are trying to do the battery thing. It’s also unclear if they have new and interesting avionics or if it’s just a power thing that they are innovating. I was told that the average amount of time from whitepaper to commercially certified is somewhere in the realm of ~5 years contingent on funding and number of assigned engineers.
Depending on their production speed it looks like their 2024 timeline is not that unreasonable - whether or not they are commercially viable is still an open question.
There may be another play here that is a bit shorter term though:
Assuming everything goes right in their tests under special airworthiness it’s possible you could see a full certification within a few months - I’d imagine that news of full airworthiness would give it a nice pop if not permanently raise its valuation. Of course it’s still a bit of a guessing game but if it drops below 5 again and there is no negative news about their test flights it may be worth looking at some further out calls like the July 5C or leaps (haven’t looked in detail but I saw some decent OI on those - the Jan 2023 actually has decent OI for most of the chain)
Appreciate it, adding to the watch list if it does drop again, I assume if and when Spy dumps might go in with leaps and shares on it - definitely not a bad price point to pick it up at if it does become commercially viable