US aerospace company Joby Aviation has secured $590m in a Series C funding round to support the launch of its air taxi service.

The financing round was led by Toyota Motor Corporation with a $394m investment and saw the participation of previous investors. These include SPARX Group, Intel Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, and AME Cloud Ventures.

Two new investors, namely Baillie Gifford and Global Oryx, also joined the new financing, which increases the current total funding to $720m.

As part of this partnership, Toyota executive vice-president Shigeki Tomoyama will become a member of Joby’s board of directors.

Toyota Motor Corporation president and CEO Akio Toyoda said: “Air transportation has been a long-term goal for Toyota, and while we continue our work in the automobile business, this agreement sets our sights to the sky.

“As we take up the challenge of air transportation together with Joby, an innovator in the emerging eVTOL space, we tap the potential to revolutionise future transportation and life. Through this new and exciting endeavour, we hope to deliver freedom of movement and enjoyment to customers everywhere, on land, and now, in the sky.”

Under this partnership, the two companies will be deploying fast and affordable air transport service leveraging Joby’s fully electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

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Toyota will also use its engineering and manufacturing expertise to support Joby Aviation in the development of its eVTOL aircraft.

Both companies expect this partnership to help in mass-producing the aircraft.

Joby’s piloted five-seat aircraft has been designed to travel at speeds of 200mph and a range of more than 150 miles on a single charge.

The zero-emission vehicle is capable of performing wingborne forward flight.