India-based transportation startup The ePlane Company announced it has raised seed funding of US$1 million in its latest financing round led by Naval Ravikant, co-founder of startup hiring platform AngelList, and deep-tech VC firm Speciale Invest.
Ravikant’s investment is an extension of an undisclosed seed round the startup had received in December 2020. Investment firms including Java Capital and FirstCheque VC also participated in the financing round.
Founded in 2017 and launched in 2019, The ePlane Company is building vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) electric planes, which it claims can be used for a 10x faster door-to-door commute within cities, at a similar price to what taxis charge on the road. Its technology can also be used for moving cargo in remote and rural areas.
This new round of seed funding will help the company develop its engineering team for building intellectual property and show early product demonstrations by 2021.
“We are committed to building a flying vehicle that provides doorstep access and high mileage like a car. Our product would enable short-distance flying for commute at affordable costs,” said Pranjal Mehta, co-founder of The ePlane Company.
The company also aims to globally launch the human-rated 200 kg taxi for deployment by 2024.
Vishesh Rajaram, the managing partner at Speciale Invest, also considers the company “not far behind” the three electric plane companies that have been listed globally via SPAC at billion-dollar valuations.