Zerog, a Chinese electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer, has completed a nearly RMB10 million (£1.2 million) seed round, with BlueRun Ventures China (BRV China) as the sole investor.

The financing closes as the Nanjing-based start-up unveils ZG-ONE, its new eVTOL aircraft product for low-altitude tourism.

Three configurations

Zerog is the only publicly known eVTOL firm in China that is simultaneously developing eVTOL aircraft with three configurations: multi-rotor, composite wing and tiltrotor.

Established in March 2021 by Xiang Jinwu, the Dean of the School of Aeronautic Science and Engineering in Beihang University, Zerog’s first generation eVTOL aircraft ZG-ONE adopts a six-axis and six-paddle configuration, weighs 650kg and can carry two people.

Delivery in 2022

The model is scheduled for delivery in the second half of the year. 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 steadily rising demand, the global market for eVTOL aircraft is projected to grow from an estimated USD 8.5 billion in 2021 to as much as USD 30.8 billion by 2030, according to a research report published by MarketsandMarkets. Morgan Stanley estimates the market for urban air mobility (UAM) to hit USD 1 trillion by 2040.

‘Technological thresholds to break through’

Terry Zhu, Managing Partner at BRV China, said: “In order for eVTOLs to fully flourish, there are certain complex technological thresholds to break through. The Zerog team possesses full-stack technical skills and product engineering capabilities. We are confident they can empower eVTOLs into much wider applications.”

The founding team of Zerog said: “With an initial specialisation in eVOTLs, we aim to provide smarter, faster, safer and more cost-effective solutions in UAM. Our goal is to bring electric aircraft into life and contribute to the air industry of China and of the world.”

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