IIT Madras incubated start-up, The ePlane Company, building electric planes for door-to-door commute in cities has raised an undisclosed round of financing in seed funding. The company was founded in 2017 and fully launched in 2019 by Satya Chakravarthy and Pranjal Mehta to find a solution for the inefficiencies in both cargo and passenger transportation.
The investment is led by deep-tech VC Speciale Invest and has participation from IIM Ahmedabad’s CIIE.CO, FirstCheque, JavaCapital, and Sharechat co-founder Farid Ahsan. The fresh round of financing will allow the company to augment building critical infrastructure and a world-class engineering team to develop IP and show early product demonstrations by 2021.
Satya Chakravarthy, co-founder and CTO, The ePlane Company, said: “Electric planes can disrupt aviation over short distances characterising urban aerial mobility. The configuration we are building would enable cost-effective air taxi operations in the future. Progressively, the outlook for this technology to make further forays into the general aviation space look very promising.”
The startup is building electric planes which can be used for 10X faster commute within cities at a similar price to road taxi and can also be used for moving cargo in remote and rural areas. ePlane had built a small-scale prototype by bootstrapping, with a dedicated team of 10 currently and is currently expanding their team to 25.
Pranjal Mehta, co-founder, and CEO, The ePlane Company, said: “In urban areas, people spend 1-2 hours every day travelling. Can we reduce it to 10-15 minutes at a similar cost? There is immense societal and economic value in that. It can even make affordable air ambulances a reality. The possibilities are endless.”
“We at Speciale Invest, believe in the founders’ deep-technical insights that are leading them to build a roadmap of electric planes and associated critical infrastructure! Our experience of working in transportation across previous investments in Ultraviolette, Vogo led us to better understand the potential ePlane has to build a multi-billion category within cargo and passenger transportation,” said Vishesh Rajaram, managing partner, Speciale Invest.
Credit: Financial Express