Reliance ups stake in NASA incubated futuristic mobility startup skyTran

Reliance ups stake in NASA incubated futuristic mobility startup skyTran
Photo Credit: VCCircle
1 Mar, 2021

Reliance Industries on Sunday said it has acquired an additional equity stake in its investee company skyTran for $26.76 million, through its Reliance Strategic Business Ventures (RSBVL) subsidiary.

The Reliance arm now controls 54.46% of skyTran, as per a statement.

Reliance had first invested an undisclosed amount of investment, through RSBVL, into skyTran in exchange for a 12.7% stake. In April 2020, Reliance said RSBVL held an aggregate 26.31% investment .

skyTran has developed a patented, high-speed elevated Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system that accommodates two-person jet-like pods. These transportive pods operate with Magnetic Levitation (Maglev) technology, along skyTran’s computer-controlled network.

“We are excited by skyTran’s potential to achieve an order of magnitude impact on high-speed intra and inter-city connectivity and its ability to provide a high speed, highly efficient and economical ‘Transportation-as-a-Service’ platform for India and the rest of the world,” Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said.

Founded in 2011, skyTran is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Act company, headquartered at the NASA Ames Research Center near Mountain View, California.

The United States’ federal government's NASA, responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research, uses Space Act agreements as the primary means for partnering with the community. skyTran in return finds access to NASA’s resources.

Using technologies of magnetic levitation and propulsion, skyTran aims to solve the problem of traffic congestion globally. Its proposed network would consist of cutting edge information technology, telecom, Internet of Things, and Advanced Materials applications, the statement added.

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