Feb 2, 2023
Maker of $555,000 Flying Motorbikes to Begin Trading on Nasdaq
(Bloomberg) -- A Japanese maker of flying motorbikes will list on the Nasdaq stock exchange and start trading as early as Friday in New York, making it the fifth company from the Asian nation to join the tech-heavy bourse, according to people familiar with the matter.
Tokyo-based ALI Technologies Inc. is going public through a merger with the blank-check firm Pono Capital Corp. Under terms of the deal, ALI Technologies will become a fully owned unit of its US arm, Aerwins Technologies, the people said, asking not to be named because the information isn’t yet public.
Its market cap is expected to be at least $600 million, in line with its target last year despite a market selloff. Its ticker will be AWIN, one of the people said.
Pono Capital’s shares soared 24% after Bloomberg’s report, the largest gain since the SPAC went public in 2021.
A company representative said while it is true that a SPAC listing is in progress, details have yet to be decided.
ALI Technologies was initially mulling an initial public offering in its home market, but decided to list on Nasdaq through a SPAC deal in a bid to expedite the process, one of the people said. Listing at home could take much longer, another person said.
READ: Maker of $777,000 Flying Motorbike Prepares for IPO in Japan
The startup announced in September that it will aim to list in Nasdaq and that Aerwins Technologies will merge with Pono Capital. At the time, it was estimated Aerwins would be valued at $600 million, with total value of outstanding shares reaching a maximum $750 million, assuming no redemptions. Many SPAC deals have fallen apart since that time however, following a decline in tech stocks and private valuations.
ALI Technologies was founded by former Merill Lynch trader Shuhei Komatsu as a drone maker in 2016. The firm later expanded its business to hover bikes, opening sales of its Xturismo Limited bike in October. The $555,000 single-person transporter can hit a max speed of 80kmh (50mph) and travel up to 40 minutes per charge. The firm lowered its dollar-based price tag from $777,000, citing the yen’s weakness against the greenback.
Last year, the startup made its first commercial sale of the Xturismo bike at home to a local entrepreneur. The bike has so far largely figured as a curio at public events such as a recent baseball game.
(Updates with Pono Capital’s trading in fourth paragraph)
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.