PrivateFly.com raises £2M funding
PrivateFly.com, the leading online aggregator for private jet charter, today announces its plans for expansion, following successful investment fundraising of £2 million generated from eight private investors.
The company, whose network accesses over 7000 aircraft based globally, says the funds will be used to deliver a roll-out to new international markets, significant usability upgrades across all its platforms, including those for mobile apps and enhanced real-time integration of pricing and availability with aircraft operators.
PrivateFly's chairman, Richard Carrick, commented: "The recession has been a catalyst for change in the private aviation industry, with increased cost-consciousness creating a clear demand for more price transparency and immediacy. PrivateFly.com has used this to its advantage, delivering significant enhancements in response speed, price and ease of use within the charter segment.
"The successful fundraising demonstrates investor confidence in the industry, particularly the ad-hoc charter market. Other private aviation segments, such as fractional ownership, have struggled post-recession due to the customer requirement of upfront cash commitment. Challenging market conditions give greater opportunity for profit and PrivateFly.com is a highly-scalable, low-risk, low-cost investment opportunity with a lean, online business model and aggressive pricing strategy. It ticked all the investor boxes".
Adam Twidell, PrivateFly's CEO and co-founder, added: "The money raised will be used to invest in innovative technology which will bring considerable efficiency benefits to customers and registered aircraft operators. It will also allow us to open up our distribution through investment in marketing, including to new territories.
"The race is now on, with other players testing different disruptive technologies to turn this traditional market on his head. The traditional broker with legacy business practices is being threatened by new business models, just as online travel aggregators challenged high street agents several years ago. The opportunity for change is significant and PrivateFly can now accelerate forward to our goal of delivering ultimate choice and agility to the global private aviation customer of tomorrow".
Notes to editors:
- March 2008: Launched by co-founders and husband-and-wife team Adam Twidell and Carol Cork, who sold their house for initial seed funding. Adam had previously served 10 years as a pilot in the RAF, three years at NetJets, and was a consultant for London City Airport's bid to start a private jet hub at RAF Northolt.
- February 2010: Launch of PrivateFly iPhone app — the world's first app to provide instant private jet pricing.
- June 2010: Initial phase of investment funding received.
- February 2011: Awarded Website of The Year in Flight International's 'Webbies' awards, recognising online excellence across the aviation industry - the judges describing it as "the iTunes" of aviation.
- September 2011: Full funding now confirmed to £2M.
PrivateFly's investors Investors in PrivateFly come from diverse backgrounds, and include:
- Travel tech entrepreneur Sam Friend, founder of wotif.com
- David Scowsill, president of WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council)
- Richard Carrick ex-CEO of Hoseasons, and PrivateFly's Chairman
- Damon De Laszlo, an industrialist with interests in many companies in Europe and the USA
Interviews and profiles of PrivateFly's investors are available on request.