China-backed eVTOL startup Zerog closes nearly RMB 10 million seed round
HONG KONG, June 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Zerog, a Chinese developer of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, recently completed a 10 million RMB ($1.48 million) seed round with BlueRun Ventures China (BRV China) as sole investor. Funding closes as NankeenThe New York-based start-up unveils ZG-ONE, its pioneering eVTOL aircraft for low-altitude tourism. The Zerog is the only publicly known eVTOL company in China which simultaneously develops eVTOL aircraft with three configurations: multi-rotor, composite wing and tiltrotor.
Established in March 2021 by Xiang Jinwu, Dean of the School of Aeronautical Science and Engineering, Beihang University and a leading scholar at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Zerog’s first-generation eVTOL aircraft, ZG-ONE , adopts a six-axis, six-paddle configuration, weighs 650 kg, and can carry two people. This model is intended for production with delivery expected in the second half of the year in small batches. In addition to providing travel services, ZG-ONE is fully functional in multiple scenarios such as logistics and transportation, emergency rescue, and geological exploration.
Along with ever-increasing demand, the global eVTOL aircraft market is expected to grow by an estimated $8.5 billion in 2021 until $30.8 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 15.3% over the forecast period, according to a research report published by MarketsandMarkets™. Morgan Stanley believes the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market will hit 1 trillion dollars by 2040, of which the Chinese market represents a quarter.
Persistent urban traffic problems are driving demand for alternative modes of transport. UAM aircraft such as eVTOLs then emerged as practical substitutes. Some eVTOL aircraft are specialized for short trips that can avoid road traffic in congested cities. Generally less expensive than helicopters operationally, they are the right tools for cargo delivery and mid-mile and last-mile medical services. Thus, the demand for UAM in urban mobility applications is expected to multiply in the coming years.
Terry ZhuManaging Partner at BRV China, says, “For eVTOLs to fully flourish, some complex technological thresholds must be crossed. The Zerog team has comprehensive technical skills and product engineering capabilities. much wider applications.
Zerog has established a presence in Hefei National High School– Technology industry development zone. It is to launch the first production line of ZG-ONE in July with which mass production will be on the way. The company has already obtained a number of orders for the planned products. Zerog’s product line will include the second-generation composite wing model, the ZG-VC2, and the third-generation tilt-rotor model, the ZG-T6, which seats six. Tiltrotor aircraft are generally recognized as the most sophisticated eVTOLs in terms of technical development and can operate with the greatest overall efficiency.
Mr. Zhu adds, “With an ever-growing urban population around the world, cities and metropolises will inevitably consider UAM as a complementary mode of transportation as they seek to reduce pollution, improve connectivity and alleviate pressure on existing transportation networks.As a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) program, we focus on investing in innovative businesses that deliver positive environmental and social outcomes .NT.”
“We can clearly see that the development of UAM has reached a critical point in terms of technological advancement, global capital market support and consumer demand. BRV China will continue to shine the spotlight on eVTOL investments in areas such as products, business models and infrastructure,” Zhu said.
Zerog’s founding team says, “With an initial specialization in eVOTLs, we aim to deliver smarter, faster, safer and more cost-effective solutions in UAM. Our goal is to bring electric aircraft to life and contribute to the airline industry China and the world.”
A Bexcluding BRV China
BlueRun Ventures China (BRV China) is a leading venture capital firm in China with offices at beijing and Shanghai. Having its heritage in Silicon Valley since 1998 and entered China in 2005, BRV China managed over $1.5 billion via several funds in USD and RMB, with more than $1 billion cash distributions. BRV China is focused on investing in entrepreneurs who create lasting impact through technological innovations in business services, transport and smart machinery, digital healthcare and consumer technologies in China. The company has invested in more than 150 portfolio companies, including Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI), QingCloud (688316.SH), WaterDrop (NYSE: WDH), Energy Monster (NASDAQ: EM), Mogujie/Meilishuo (NYSE: MOGU ), Qudian (NYSE:QD), Ganji/58.com, PPTV, Guazi, Meishubao, Nanyan, Shanzhen, Gaussian Robotics, Yi Auto, Pinecone, etc. ” in China by Zero2IPO and ChinaVenture, and “Consistent Performing Venture Capital Fund Manager” by Preqin. For more information, please visit https://www.brv.com.cn/en/.
SOURCE BRV China