Bumble Bee Flights Pvt Ltd said on Tuesday it has raised Rs 300 crore (USD 37 million) from the UK-based SRAM & MRAM Technologies and Resources to set up a self-driven air taxi assembly plant in Odisha.
Founded by air mobility solutions expert Arjun Das early this year, the Bangalore-based startup plans to launch the first human-carrying prototype by April next year, Bumble Bee Flights said in a statement.
It will manufacture certified air taxis under the Bee Flights brand and be available for production by 2024, it stated.
The Rs 300 crore funding to Bee Flights is to build the future of transportation in the country, Das said.
This is also a step towards putting Odisha and India on the global air mobility solution map, he added.
"We are announcing our investment of Rs 300 crore to Bee Flights to build the future. We share a common vision of the importance of a sustainable future using electric air mobility systems," said Gurujee Kumaran Swami, Vice Chairman, SRAM & MRAM Technologies and Resources Limited.
He noted that eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft are the future of urban mobility and transport.
Air taxis would become a regular feature in the world by the year 2035 when about 10 per cent of the transportation is expected to be managed and controlled by these flying vehicles, streamlining daily commuting, saving millions of driving hours and reducing pollution drastically, Bumble Bee Flights said.
According to a Morgan Stanley report, the global urban air mobility market is projected to grow 30 per cent annually between 2021 and 2040, reaching USD 1.5 trillion by 2040.
The solar power swappable battery-operated air taxis would have the capacity to carry one person along with a suitcase and can land even on the rooftop of apartments, unlike helicopters that need specific helipads, as per the company.
They can fly for 20 minutes for a distance of 20 km, it added.
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