Archer Aviation Plans to Fly Electric Air Taxis Around LA by 2024

Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

Archer Aviation Plans to Fly Electric Air Taxis Around LA by 2024
Archer

Air taxis traveling 150 mph and quietly ferrying passengers up to 60 miles over the sunny skies of Los Angeles could become a reality in three years.

Palo Alto-based Archer Aviation, which is developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft vehicles, announced Tuesday it would launch its first transportation network here by 2024 in collaboration with the city's Urban Movement Labs, which is also working with other companies to develop delivery robots and drones.


"Our partnership with the City of Los Angeles will be one of our major milestones in bringing quick, safe, affordable everyday flight to dense urban locations," said Adam Goldstein, co-founder and co-CEO of Archer, in the company's announcement.

The move comes after Archer announced a deal earlier this month that capitalizes on two of the hottest investments of the moment: blank check companies and electric vehicles.

The SPAC valued Archer at a rich $3.8 billion and included United Airlines among the investors.

The carrier also agreed to acquire a fleet of up to 200 aircraft, along with Mesa Airlines.

"Archer's commitment to launch their first eVTOL [electric vertical takeoff and landing] aircraft in one of United's hubs means our customers are another step closer to reducing their carbon footprint at every stage of their journey, before they even take their seat," said Michael Leskinen, vice president of corporate development and investor relations at United Airlines, in a prepared statement.

There are still a slew of regulatory and technology issues to work out but the industry is advancing quickly. The autonomous urban aircraft market could be worth $1.5 trillion by 2040, according to Morgan Stanley.

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A New Tide of LA Startups Is Tackling the National Childcare Crisis

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

A New Tide of LA Startups Is Tackling the National Childcare Crisis
Courtesy of Brella

The pandemic exacerbated a problem that has been long bubbling in the U.S.: the childcare crisis.

According to a survey of people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers conducted by the city’s WiSTEM Los Angeles program and shared exclusively with dot.LA, the pandemic exposed a slew of challenges across STEM fields. The survey—which consisted of 181 respondents from L.A.County and was conducted between March 2021 and 2022— involved respondents across medical fields, technical professions and science industries who shared the pandemic’s effects on their professional or education careers.

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MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Its Second Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Its Second Fund
Courtesy of MaC Venture Capital

While venture capital funding has taken a hit this year, that hasn’t stopped MaC Venture Capital from raising $203 million for its second fund.

The Los Angeles-based, Black-led VC firm said Monday that it had surpassed its initial $200 million goal for the fund, which dot.LA reported in January, over the span of seven months. MaC said it expects to invest the capital in up to 50 mostly seed-stage startups while remaining “sector-agnostic.”

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