IIT Madras incubated startup, 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 Prof. Satya Chakravarthy and Pranjal Mehta to break open inefficiencies in both cargo and passenger transportation.
The investment was led by deep-tech VC Speciale Invest and has participation from IIM Ahmedabadâ€™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.
â€śElectric planes can really 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,â€ť Prof. Satya Chakravarthy, Co-founder and CTO, The ePlane Company, said.
The startup is incubated at IIT Madras Incubation Cell and operates from the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development, IITM.
â€śIn urban areas, people spend 1-2 hours every day traveling. 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,â€ť said Pranjal Mehta, Co-founder, and CEO, The ePlane Company.
â€śWe at Speciale Invest, believe in the foundersâ€™ 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,â€ť said Vishesh Rajaram, Managing Partner, Speciale Invest.