Japanese startup that makes flying “motorcycles” goes public

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Aerwins Technologies, a Japanese company specialising in drones and eVTOL vehicles, will begin trading on the US stock exchange next week.

Aerwins Technologies, a Japanese startup that makes flying motorcycles, will be listed on the Nasdaq US stock exchange through a merger with US company Pono Capital. Trading will start next Monday. This makes Aerwins the fifth Japanese company on Nasdaq.

The company’s market capitalisation is expected to be at least $600 million. The startup was originally considering a listing on the Japanese stock exchange, but due to the slowness of the process, decided to target Nasdaq through a SPAC transaction. The deal comes at a time when funding for startups with a similar profile is becoming increasingly difficult.

SPACs, such as Pono, which are not in business but have capital to invest, raise money through public offerings and go public, where they are activated by merging with a promising private company, making it easier and shorter for the target company to go public, Reuters reports.

The Japanese startup was founded in 2016 as a drone manufacturer and has expanded its operations to eVTOL vehicles. They caught the media’s attention a year and a half ago when they unveiled their flying motorcycle, dubbed Xturismo. The 300 kg eVTOL vehicle, with a body mounted on propellers, sells for $555,000.

They claim it can fly for up to 40 minutes and speed over the ground at 100 km/h. The company is offering the flying motorcycle to emergency services and says it can also be used for infrastructure monitoring.

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