Chinese robo air taxi maker EHang falls in U.S. trading debut

Michael Hytha

EHang Holdings Ltd., one of several companies seeking to commercialize autonomous taxi aircraft, fell in its trading debut after its U.S. initial public offering.

The Guangzhou, China-based company raised $40 million Wednesday, pricing 3.2 million American depositary shares at the bottom of its marketed range of $12.50 to $14.50. The shares opened at $12.55 and fell 5% to $11.88 at 1:52 p.m. Thursday

The EHang AAV.

Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Derrick Xiong said being first in the industry to go public will help establish EHang, and the share price moving “up and down” is to be expected.

“We’re looking at the long term,” Xiong said. “We want to be more transparent. We want to gain credibility.”

Founded in 2014, the company’s goal is to make “safe, autonomous and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone,” according to its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The EHang AAV.

The company also makes drones for aerial photography and other commercial applications. EHang has a partnership with DHL-Sinotrans International Air Courier Ltd. to tackle last-mile delivery in China, and is working with grocery chain Yonghui Superstores Co. to use drones for food delivery.

The company lost $6.7 million on revenue of $9.4 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30, according to its filings. For the full year in 2018, it lost $11 million on revenue of $9.3 million.

Morgan Stanley led the offering. EHang’s shares are trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol EH.