Bumble Bee Flights raises Rs 300 Cr to manufacture air taxis, aims to launch prototype by April 2023
Bumble Bee Flights Pvt Ltd, a company that has designed and developed India’s first autonomous air mobility solution with multiple use-case scenarios such as air ambulance, air taxi, logistics, recreational use, and defence applications, has raised Rs 300 crore ($37 million) in investment from UK-based technology conglomerate SRAM & MRAM Technologies and Resources Limited.
The Bengaluru-based startup, founded by serial entrepreneur and air mobility solutions expert Arjun Das in early 2022, said it will use the funds to set up an assembly plant in Odisha for manufacturing the air taxis. The company plans to launch the first prototype by April 2023.
As per an official release,will manufacture air taxis under the brand Bee Flights. These air taxis will be certified and available for production by 2024.
Arjun Das, Founder of Bumble Bee Flights, said, “eVTOL Aircrafts are the future of urban mobility and transport. These autonomous air taxis would not only ease the already burdened urban road infrastructure but also will work towards reducing carbon footprints. We aim to work towards making mobility cheaper, faster, and more sustainable."
Arjun added that Bumble Bee Flights will design and manufacture these air taxis, partnering with operators across the globe to service, support, and run operations. The first step would be obtaining a certification aimed for India, the US, the UK, the UAE, and Singapore.
“We are like the Boeing or Airbus for air mobility solutions,” Arjun said.
He said the company was committed to make in India, make for the global movement, and [to] build the future of transportation. "This is also a step towards putting Odisha and India on the global air mobility solution map,” he said.
Bee Flights' air taxis would run on solar-charged swappable batteries and would weigh around 300 kg, as compared to helicopters that weigh about 1,000 kg and more. They will have the capacity to carry one person along with a suitcase and can land on apartment rooftops. They will be able to fly for 20 minutes for a distance of 20 km.
“Booking an air taxi would be as easy as booking a taxi from Ola or Uber,” Arjun said.
Arjun feels that these air taxis would become a regular feature in the world by year 2035 when about 10% of the transportation would be managed and controlled by these flying vehicles. This will streamline daily commuting, saving millions of driving hours and reducing pollution drastically.
Morgan Stanley, a US investment company, predicted that the global UAM market will grow 30% annually between 2021 and 2040, reaching $1.5 trillion by 2040.
Gurujee Kumaran Swami, Vice Chairman, SRAM & MRAM Technologies and Resources Limited, said, “We are committed to the make in India movement and [we] share a common vision of the importance of a sustainable future using electric air mobility systems."
Edited by Teja Lele