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Jet Startups Keep Raising Money

Editor’s Midday Note: Can you really make private jet travel affordable?

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Quick hit today from a glorious Fall-ish day in San Francisco. We’re talking about flying.

TechCrunch has an interesting piece out today detailing a new $105 million Series C startup JetSmarter, which allows the wealthier types to purchase an access membership to private jets—including the ability to buy add-on tickets for others.

As the article states, “The company’s app […] allows travelers to book a seat on a private jet via the company’s JetShuttle service, or to charter an entire plane if their entourage rolls deep.”

Rolling deep aside, it will set you back $15,000 to use the service, before other costs. It’s very not cheap, in other words, for normally price-conscious people.

Which is to say that innovation in the jet space continues, but the fixed costs of private travel remain. This has been a core critique in my mind of other jet-focused startups with aims to lower private travel costs so that a far larger slice of the world can afford to fly in style.

But earlier this year, another jet-based startup shut down. A headline, for taste:

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BlackJet was a far less capitalized entity, raising only a handful of millions, but it had some hype to it.

Traveling is more irksome than it should be, and having smart people working to make private flight simpler and cheaper is something, as an aspiring capitalist, I endorse. It’s exciting to see companies that appear to have potentially functional economics keep on, ahem, trucking.

Oh and JetSmarter is now valued at $1.5 billion. Unicorns can fly, we now know.

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© Mattermark 2017. Sources: Mattermark Research, Crunchbase, AngelList.
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