The aerial transport logistics start-up will utilise the funds towards scaling the research and product development of its 50 to 100-kilogram payload category drones
Aerial transport logistics start-up BonV Aero has raised an undisclosed seed funding led by Headstart Investor Circle (HIC). Other angel investors who participated in this round included Alok Anand, chief executive officer of Acumen Aviation, Dr Ramesh Srinivasan and founder of Enarka India as well as funds of academic incubators such as IIT Mandi, Himachal Pradesh and AIC CV Raman Global University, Odisha.
“Transformative ideas like these deserve to be backed. The founding team’s aerospace experience, rapid digital transformation of the logistics sector and the push for domestic procurement of drones by the government on the back of deregulations and schemes in support of the drone industry, has been strong indicators in support of BonV for the investors,” said Headstart’s Investment Lead, Tushar Vadera.
BonV Aero is an IIT Mandi and AIC CV Raman Global University Odisha-backed venture building electric aerial vehicles for cargo transportation. These are touted as a carbon-free, faster and economical alternative to the traditional medium.
The start-up claims to be the first company to successfully demonstrate 50-kilogram cargo carrying electric aerial vehicles at 6,500 feet to Eastern Command; the Indian Army forward post in Arunachal Pradesh.
In its next phase, the company aims to develop its flagship platform, the RM001, that can transport 200 kilograms of freight over 40 kilometres in challenging terrains. These are areas where surface logistics are either unfavourable or time-consuming.
Satyabrata Satapathy, co-founder of BonV, said, “In rural and hilly terrain regions, the multi-utility air vehicles are expected to cut down transportation time by as much as 80 per cent and ensure access to critical resources at all times. BonV Aero is targeting opportunities in commercial cargo and logistics, defence, last mile transportation and disaster relief.” In future, the company also plans to expand to sectors like power transmission and medi-evacuation.
According to a report by Markets And Markets, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market is projected to grow from $26.2 billion in 2022 to $38.3 billion by 2027, at a 7.9 per cent CAGR from 2022 to 2027. BonV aims to entrench itself as the go-to higher payload aerial transport delivery provider.
Gaurav Achha, co-founder of BonV Aero stated that the company is keen to explore new possibilities for delivery and conduct autonomous missions in remote environments. “Imagine aerial logistics becoming seven times cheaper than the current alternatives by 2024. BonV will help improve accessibility and efficiency of logistics solutions, especially in the remote and hilly terrains,” he claimed.
Headstart Investor Circle is the investment initiative of Headstart Network Foundation, which works closely with angel investors and VC funds. It has initiated initiatives like the Bharat-Pitchathon that was held across 26 cities recently, where 208 start-ups pitched their ideas to over 30 fund partners.