ePlane, described as a B2B sourcing and business intelligence platform for the aerospace parts and repair market, has raised $9 million in funding. The round is led by Japanese trading and investing company Marubeni Corporation, along with a number of previous investors.
Founded in 2016 and launched fully in 2018, ePlane has built to let users trade aircraft parts, locate repair services, and improve supply chain bottlenecks and reduce costs. The idea is that by throwing tech at the problem, including an online marketplace -- covering buying, selling, repairing, loaning, and exchanging aircraft parts -- many inefficiencies within the aerospace parts and repair market can be eradicated.
For example, the platform’s "Autopilot" feature claims to use an AI algorithm to match buyers and sellers based on needs, available inventory, past transactions, and required timeframe. It then automatically sends requests for quotes (RFQs) to appropriate sellers, therefore eliminating the need to send each request manually.
More broadly, ePlane's platform digitizes the procurement process, "syncing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and custom inventories, to ensure that inventories are most up to date in real time".
The aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market is said to be large, too, totalling $80 billion globally. ePlane says the market is expected to grow to $116 billion by 2029, and therefore is prime for its B2B sourcing platform.
To that end, I'm told the aviation industry is already embracing Cyprus-headquartered ePlane. The startup is now receiving over $50 million in monthly demand from over 4,000 major companies in the aerospace industry.