Reliance acquires majority stake in US smart mobility firm SkyTran

Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited (RSBVL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, announced investment of $26.76 million in SkyTran Inc, to increase its shareholding in the a US-based smart mobility solutions company to 54.46 per cent.

Incorporated in 2011, Delaware, US-based SkyTran has developed breakthrough passive magnetic levitation and propulsion technology for implementing personal transportation systems aimed at solving the problem of traffic congestion globally. The technology has been developed by SkyTran to create Smart Mobility Solutions. 
The proposed SkyTran transportation systems would consist of computer-controlled passenger pods running on its state-of-the-art, patented Passive Magnetic Levitation technology and would use cutting edge IT, Telecom, loT and Advanced Materials technologies to transport passengers in a fast, safe, green, and economical manner.
Incubated by Nasa, SkyTran is also supported by notable global venture capital investors such as Innovation Endeavors. 
“Our acquiring majority equity stake in SkyTran reflects our commitment to invest in building futuristic technologies that would transform the world. We are excited by SkyTran’s potential to achieve an order of magnitude impact on highspeed 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. We firmly believe that non-polluting high speed personal rapid transportation system will help facilitate environmental sustainability through efficient use of alternative energy and make an impactful reduction in air and noise pollution,” Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, said.
RIL is in a transitional phase, expanding its activities from hydrocarbon exploration and production, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemicals, retail and digital services to new technology enterprises. 
Reliance, through RSBVL, had first invested an undisclosed amount into SkyTran in exchange for a 12.7 per cent stake. In April 2020, Reliance said RSBVL held an aggregate 26.31 per cent investment in the start-up.
SkyTran is a personal rapid transit system concept, first proposed by inventor Douglas Malewicki in 1990, and under development by Unimodal Inc. A prototype of the skyTran vehicle and a section of track have been constructed.
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.
Law firms Covington & Burling LLP and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP acted as legal counsel and IP counsel respectively to Reliance Industries.