Stratajet raises $5m for private jet booking site
Stratajet, a real-time marketplace for booking private jet flights online, has secured $5 million in funding from a major venture capital firm.
As a result of this investment, the company, which is headquartered in London, is growing internationally and hiring over 30 new members of staff, including 10 research analysts and four account managers.
In recent months, other consumer booking platforms for private jet flights – including Jetsmarter, PrivateFly and Victor – have sought further investment for disruptive technology that will challenge traditional charter brokers, but Stratajet is the first company this year to announce that it has found significant funding.
“The reality is that we are absolutely nothing like those guys,” says Jonathan Nicol, managing director of Stratajet, in reference to his main competitors. “What they have done incredibly well is make it clear that people want to book private jet flights online, but we are the only platform that provides real-time pricing and booking.”
“We are the true Skyscanner, Expedia or Kayak of this industry,” he adds.
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To promote the potential of its technology to almost 40 private jet operators and FBOs, Stratajet is about to embark on a four-month marketing ‘roadshow’ of Europe under the codename Operation Longreach.
This will involve a small team of Stratajet employees visiting European airfields – including a stop-off at EBACE – in a company-owned 1995 PIPER PA-34 Seneca aircraft, which will be piloted by Nicol, who previously flew for the RAF.
Stratajet technology prepares for take-off
Stratajet has built two products since its launch in 2012: Stratafleet, which functions as a free piece of sales software for aircraft operators, and Stratajet, which allows end users to receive real-time pricing for private jet flights – and any additional variables – and actually book them online.
Having succesfully raised $5 million, Stratajet plans on formerly launching its booking platform before the third quarter of this year. Although the product has been available online for over a year, it is still in beta mode and Nicol admits that bookings have so far been limited.
Expansion into the US and Asia
Stratajet is eager to grow globally and is committed to opening a new office in San Jose, California in July. The company is also looking at Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpar as potential locations in Asia.
Currently headquartered at a temporary office in West London, Stratajet will move into bigger offices to accommodate its growing staff, but Nicol stresses that Stratajet’s headquarters will remain in Central London. “We are a British company and we are keen to remain a British company,” he says.
In a press release issued by Stratajet today, Nicol added: “Receiving this investment now proves that the last four years of striving to perfect the technology in Stratajet has been worth it. We have been given full recognition that Stratajet is not just another online solution; rather that we are unique in providing the ability to instantly and accurately price trips from an unlimited number of aircraft operators.”