Each week, we review the press, highlighting and responding to interesting and relevant articles in the news.

Source: Joby Aviation, Archer Aviation.

Prepare for Electric Take-Off

Two all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVOTL) aircrafts from Joby Aviation and Archer Aviation are taking flight. Joby Aviation is pioneering aerial ridesharing, with its EVOTL fleet that can cruise at 200mph. Meanwhile, Archer’s eVOTL aircraft can travel 60 miles at 150mph on one charge. This month, both Archer Aviation and Joby expressed interest to enter the public realm. Archer has announced plans to enter public offering via SPAC and Joby is still hinting at the potential of doing the same, creating an estimated $10B business. The two eVOTL companies have high-profile backers – Joby has $125 investment from Uber and $394M from Toyota, while Archer already has a $1B order from United Airlines. In an already fragile and precarious airline industry, Joby and Archer’s disruption have the potential to completely alter flight as we know it. Altio is monitoring these innovative and renewable solutions to aerial mobility and look forward to seeing what Joby and Archer create.

Source: Bloomberg

Is 2021 the year of the SPAC?

2021 is giving 2020 a run for its money regarding to SPAC mania, as 134 firms have already raised $39B since the start of the year. In less than 2 months, this is already nearly 50% the $83B raised across 244 SPAC IPOs in 2020 and nearly three times the $13.6B raised in 2019. While the 2020 SPAC boom started in the US, blank-check firms are setting their sights on Europe, particularly tech companies. The London Stock Exchange is even looking to entice blank-check firms to list with European companies. Though NYSE introduced a new rule in late December to allow fresh capital raising for direct listings in an attempt to curb the demand for SPACs, the SPAC enthusiasm has not subsided. SPACs are democratising the stock exchange and ability for tech companies to be publicly traded. Altio is monitoring this momentum and what it means for the future of IPOs.

Source: Panasonic's farm in Singapore.

Singapore AgTech Hub

This week, Singapore announced a $45M fund to encourage urban agtech and domestic agricultural innovation. This comes after unveiling its sustainable policy Green Plan 2030 last week. Together with the policy, this fund will help Singapore reach its aim to domestically produce at least 30% of nutritional needs by 2030. At the moment, Singapore imports 90% of its food, hence the need for self-sufficient production. Singapore’s dedication to encouraging agtech and foodtech has been at the forefront in the last few years. Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign fund, has invested nearly $5B in agtech over the last 5 years. Foodtech and Agtech are thriving in Singapore, and back in December, Singapore became the first country to approve lab-grown meat for sale. This was possible due in part to the fact that Singapore’s meat is all imported, and does not have to face backlash from Big Meat producers. With dedication and funding, Singapore is quickly emerging as the leader in agtech. Altio expects the greatest innovations in agtech and foodtech to come out of Singapore in the coming years, so stay tuned for exciting advances!