Chennai-based Ubifly Technologies, which runs The ePlane Company and aims to build electric flying taxis of the future, has closed a seed round of funding worth $1 million, a statement said on Wednesday.
The investment was led by deep-tech venture capital firm Speciale Invest, AngelList co-founder and investor Naval Ravikant, with participation from Java Capital, FirstCheque.vc, and IIM Ahmedabad’s startup incubator CIIE.CO.
The round was announced back in December, but its value could not be disclosed as the investment was still expanding, Pranjal Mehta, the co-founder and CEO of the startup, told TechCircle early last month.
Back then, he had indicated that a super angel from the US (Ravikant) would soon be joining them as an investor.
According to the statement, the funding will help the company build a world-class engineering team to develop IP and show early vehicle demonstrations by 2021.
“We are committed to building a flying vehicle providing doorstep access and high mileage like a car. Our product would enable short distance flying for commute at affordable costs.” Pranjal Mehta, Co-founder and CEO, The ePlane Company, said. He further said, “The funding we have received demonstrates the confidence investors have in us. We are grateful for the support from both our Indian and foreign investors”.
Incorporated in 2019 by Mehta and aerospace engineering professor Satya Chakravarthy, The ePlane Company has built a 6Kg prototype and plans to get 50Kg and 200Kg variants ready in the near future. The 50Kg model will go into the testing phase in the second half of 2021, while the larger model is expected to go through flight tests starting in April 2022.
If all goes according to the plan in the development, testing, and certification phase, Mehta estimates that the human-rated 200kg version would be ready for sales and ferrying service by 2025.
The company claims that once its vehicle is ready it would be able to cut travel time down by 10 times at 1.5 to 2x of an Uber fare.