The ePlane Company, Flying taxis startup, raises $1 million

CIOReviewIndia Team | Wednesday, 03 March 2021, 06:13 IST

Flying taxiIIT Madras- incubated ‘flying taxis’ innovator The ePlane Company has raised aroud $1 million in seed funding in a round led by VC firm Speciale Invest and Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur and investor Naval ravikant. The round also saw participation from JavaCapital, FirstCheque.vc, and IIM Ahmedabad-housed incubator CIIE.CO.

The start up, which is constructing compact electric planes for short-range intra city commutes, said it will utilise the funding to nurture its engineering team to help them, the startup proposes to expand to around 25 people. Additionally, the company also targets to globally launch the human-rated 200 kg taxi for deployment by 2024. Launched in 2019, The ePlan Company is the brainchild of aerospace engineering professor Satya Chakravarthy and his student Pranjal Mehta. ePlane operates out of IIT-M’s National Centre for Combustion Research and Development, which has granted rise to other deep tech start-ups such as Agnikul Cosmos.

The startup is building VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) electric planes and claims it can assist 10X faster door-to-door commute within cities at a similar price to road taxi. The technology can also be used for moving cargo in remote and rural areas.

Vishesh Rajaram, managing partner, Speciale invest, believes that the participation of marquee Silicion Valley investors in the round is a milestone for Indian deep tech sector. “We are seeing three electic plane companies [globally] listed via SPAC at billion dollar valuations. I consider ePlane not far behind that,” he said.

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