Japanese startup A.L.I. Technologies introduced the XTurismo flying motorcycle in October, 2021. Unsurprisingly, skeptics came crawling out of the woodwork. To silence the naysayers, the company launched a tour for the XTurismo in May, 2022.
Debuting at the Hataraku Norimono Daishugo vehicle exhibition, the prototype took to Japan’s world-famous Suzuka Circuit. From there, the flying motorcycle lifted off in Monaco for the Top Marques Monaco on June 8-12, 2022. While those appearances proved the XTurismo’s viability, we weren’t quite convinced by A.L.I. Technologies’ listed specs.
It seems like investors aren’t sold on the brand’s prospects either. In September, 2022, special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Pono Capital announced its intention to merge with A.L.I. At that point, the Japanese startup was valued at $600M. That estimate didn’t hold up once the blank-check company merged with A.L.I. Technologies on February 6, 2023.
Under the merger, the two entities combined to create Aerwins Technology Inc (AWIN). However, 99 percent of shareholders opted out of the newly-formed company, redeeming their Pono Capital stock instead. As a result, Aerwins Technology lost 56 percent of its value right out of the gates, with share prices falling to $5.
Though A.L.I. founder Komatsu Shuuhei remains the CEO, chair, and board member of Aerwins Technology, it seems like investors aren’t willing to gamble on the XTurismo any longer. That development is far from unexpected, as the limited-edition flying motorcycle will cost $77,000 and only reach 62 mph.
The mass divestment isn’t a surprise either. SPACs have become increasingly volatile since early 2021. As of 2022, the average SPAC withdrawal rate spiked to more than 80 percent. Not even Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle offshoot LiveWire could avoid such a fate when it merged with AEA-Bridges Impact Corp. in September, 2022.
While this doesn’t spell the end for the flying-motorcycle maker, it grounds the company’s immediate plans for the XTurismo.
Sources: Market Watch, Robb Report, Crunchbase