EPlane, an online marketplace for aerospace parts and repair services, has focused on implementing tools designed to help match buyers and sellers and foster commerce, CEO Gideon Shmuel says.
Investors are backing its strategy, with a new funding round of $9 million announced Tuesday, bringing ePlane’s total funding to date to $16.5 million, a spokeswoman says.
“We are delighted to see Marubeni joining us and see this partnership as an important one to the ongoing growth and success of ePlane. This is a strategic step,” says Benny Shabtai, one of ePlane’s initial investors and an ePlane board member. Shabtai’s prior investments, including the Viber messaging app, resulted in sales of mobile messaging and related technology to Japan-based online marketplace Rakuten.
“Digitization is a must for operations at this scale, and those who don’t embrace the digital transformation will not be able to provide the required level of service in this new tech-fueled climate,” ePlane said in announcing the funding today. “Marubeni is committed to innovation and the investment in ePlane will ensure objectives are met.”
‘Autopilot’ feature matches buyers and sellers
EPlane’s marketplace features include an “Autopilot” feature designed with artificial intelligence to match buyers and sellers based on buyers’ needs, available inventory, past transactions, and required delivery timeframe, ePlane says. It adds that the marketplace is also designed to automatically sending Requests for Quotes (RFQs) to appropriate sellers.
Founded in 2016, ePlane says it now receives more than $50 million in monthly requests for quotes from more than 4,000 companies in the aerospace industry. The marketplace maintains serial numbers and other documentation for each part listed by sellers, ePlane says.
The market for such products is primed to scale to $116 billion worldwide by 2029, up from $81.9 billion last year, according to a market forecast report by Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm for aerospace and other industries.
Young buyers prefer buying online
In a recent interview, Shmuel said that ePlane is serving a new generation of buyers who prefer ordering parts online.
The aerospace parts market is being served by a growing number of online marketplaces that have emerged over the past several years, including fipart, PartPilot, PartsBase, AeroParts Now and Honeywell Aerospace’s GoDirect Trade.
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