EHang makes debut Guangzhou flights and gears up for IPO




EHang demonstrated the potential of its air taxi service in Guanzhou last week with simultaneous flight demos across the Chinese city. But it is not just sticking to its home market, having simultaneously announced the final terms for its $43m Nasdaq initial public offering (IPO).

The Chinese autonomous aircraft company announced Guangzhou as the launch city for its air taxi service in August. Now it has partnered with property developer Heli Chuangxin Real Estate to develop the infrastructure to support the commercial flights.

The demo flights were conducted on two passenger-grade EHang 216s.

“Today’s [put date in] demo flights mark another key step forward in Guangzhou’s journey to making urban air mobility a reality and lead global efforts in such commercial operations,” said Hu Huazhi, EHang’s founder, chairman and CEO. “We are thrilled to be working together with our partners to enable safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly urban air travel as soon as possible.”

EHang is China’s only licenced air taxi manufacturer and operator, having secured exclusive air taxi operating rights from the Chinese government to fly its aircraft across the country. Plans to test more flight routes and vertiports are in the works before the company moves into full-scale passenger operations.
EHang is already operating air cargo flights using drones to and from its Guanzhou base in partnership with delivery company DHL-Sinotrans.

Public premier

After murmurings of US public market debut, EHang has now officially announced terms for a $43m Nasdaq IPO. And is expected to debut today (Thursday December 12).

Initially, the company was reported to be looking to raise up to $400-500m in shares earlier this year. But this estimate dropped to $200m in September, after the firmreceived “lukewarm investor interest”, according to Reuters. It first filed to list $100m shares in October.

It will now offer 3.2m American Depositary Shares (ADS) at an individual price of $12.5 to $14.50, with insiders intending to purchase $7m worth. According to Nasdaq, this will give EHang a diluted market value of $742m, according to Nasdaq.

Morgan Stanley is the sole bookrunner on the deal. Credit Suisse was initially attached to the deal but was removed as second bookrunner.