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IIT-M startup ePlane Company raises funds to build flying taxis

IIT-Madras incubated startup The ePlane Company has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from deep-tech focused VC firm Speciale Invest.

The round also saw participation from IIM-Ahmedabad’s CII, FirstCheque, JavaCapital, and Sharechat co-founder Farid Ahsan. The startup said that the new round of financing will allow the company to augment critical infrastructure and bring in a quality engineering team to develop IP and show early product demonstrations by 2021. Founded in 2017 and operational by 2019, ePlane is building electric planes for door-to-door commute in cities. IIT-M professor Satya Chakravarthy and Pranjal Mehta launched the startup to solve the inefficiencies in cargo and passenger transportation. The startup is building electric planes that 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. “In 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.” Pranjal Mehta, Co-founder, and CEO, The ePlane Company, said. The startup is incubated at IIT-M’s Incubation Cell and operates from the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development at IIT-M.

ePlane has built a small scale prototype by bootstrapping, with a dedicated team of 10 currently and is currently expanding their team to 25.