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The ePlane Company, Raises $5M In Pre-Series A Funding

The fresh lease of funds would help bolster the hiring of top-tier talent, advance R&D, and continue to gain airworthiness provision and initiate certification.

The ePlane Company that is betting on eradicating traffic by building electric planes for short-range intra-city commute, has announced a $5M Pre-Series A raise. The fresh lease of funds would help bolster the hiring of top-tier talent, advance R&D, and continue to gain airworthiness provision and initiate certification. The said investment is led by deep-tech venture capitalist Speciale Invest and EV/Climate focussed fund Micelio. A consortium of investors including Naval Ravikant, 3one4 Capital, UTEC (University of Tokyo Edge Capital), Anicut Capital, Infoedge, Prashant Pitti (co-founder of Easemytrip), Thought Ventures, Java Capital, and also participated in the round.

As the population continues to grow, sustainable transportation is amongst the most important issue/problems of our times. Certain technologies in batteries and aerospace are showing signs of emergence that would allow for disruption of regional transportation. The government is also framing liberal drone rules that could pave the way for these unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Founded in 2017 and launched in 2019, The ePlane Company is the brainchild of aerospace engineering professor Satya Chakravarthy and his student Pranjal Mehta. The company aspires to build the world’s most compact flying taxi, called the e200 for passengers, as well as cargo transport that could help reduce congestion on the roads and emissions from ground transport and lower the risk of road accidents. The start-up has already test flown the lab-scale prototype of the e200 and is on course to do a full-scale prototype in April 2022.

“Our mission has always been to explore efficient, safer, and carbon-neutral mobility solutions. With eplane, we aim to build electric planes for intra-city transportation. The USP is that we are making the most compact flying taxi in the world which has a hybrid design that uses both rotors and wings and a subscale prototype that enables it to fly slower than e-planes with compact wings would normally require. Further, our product will not have any dedicated infrastructure requirements and can make the city commute ten times faster at just 1.5 times the taxi fare, said Pranjal Mehta, Co-founder, The ePlane Company, said. He further said, “The funding we have received demonstrates the confidence investors have in us. We are grateful for the support from both our Indian and foreign investors”.

“We have currently tested a scaled-down prototype and expect to have our first cargo plane ready as early as next year. The cargo carrier is expected to be rolled out by February 2023, the passenger version is expected by December 2024, said Satya Chakravarthy, Co-founder, The ePlane Company, who has been on sabbatical since last year to take up this assignment.”

“The eplane Company is one of the unique companies with the vision to create technology that will make India self-sufficient. We at Speciale Invest are fortunate to be associated with them. It aligns with our vision of backing disruptive companies solving global problems via tech innovations very well. With this round, they are well on their way to making regional aerial transportation a reality. All the very best to them”, said Vishesh Rajaram, Managing Partner, Speciale Invest.

The startup has raised $1 million in their seed round of funding in March last year.

Source: Business World

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