With the increasing technological advancements in the world, the concept of flying cars and bikes coming to reality does not seem to be so far away. Recently the Tokyo-based ALI Technologies Inc. founded by Shuhei Komatsu, which is on track to launch its first flying motorbike – Xturismo Limited revealed that it will be soon opening its Initial Public Offering (IPO) at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company stated that it has selected lead underwriters for an initial public offering on Tokyo’s Mothers market for startups in what will be the country’s first debut of its kind.
The Tokyo based firm was founded by Komatsu, who is a former Merrill Lynch derivatives trader. Initially started as a drone producer in 2016, ALI Technologies Inc. later ventured into creating a $777,000 flying motorbike. And aside from drones and flying motorcycles, ALI is working on artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.
The single-person transporter which the company has named the Xturismo Limited will have a maximum speed of 80 kilometres an hour and will travel up to 40 minutes on one charge, and it will be primarily powered by a combustion engine, according to the company. The ALI Xturismo bike is designed to assist in traversing tough terrain rather than flying high in the sky. It has been designed to look like an oversized drone, with a standard motorbike seat and steering mounted on top.
ALI Technologies Inc. over the years has been successful at securing funding from some of the well known Japanese firms like the Sega Sammy Holdings, Nagoya Railroad, Nakanihon Air Service, Kyocera and Mitsubishi Electric. The company also roped in football star Keisuke Honda, who played for the national team at the 2018 World Cup, as an investor in the startup. However, the company now aims to become the only publicly listed company in Japan that specialises in next-generation air mobility.
Apart from ALI, there are a few other companies in the United States Of America that are already trading on the New York exchanges. These companies include Joby Aviation, Archer Aviation, Lilium and Vertical Aerospace. And referring to these firms, ALI president Daisuke Katano said “Air mobility companies listed in the US have pretty sizeable market caps. If you consider our company to be of a similar kind, I think we’ll be able to win the understanding of investors for a decent valuation.”
Katano also stated that ALI’s long-term goal is to achieve a unicorn valuation of $1 billion or more. However, the business has yet to determine the appropriate manner to classify its vehicle, which will be determined after conversations with local regulators in the markets where it will be marketed.
As of now, the bike has mostly served as a spectacle during public events, like a recent baseball game in Japan, but Katano says it has piqued the interest of Middle Eastern nations. He stated, “The need for these bikes will be higher in places with desert or other difficult terrain,” Katano also added, “The vehicle will enable people to travel where roads are bad and inaccessible to cars, as well as across bodies of water.”