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Fly Blade Inc., the digitally powered short-distance aviation leader which services 22 core routes in seven states, has completed its Series B Financing. Lead investors Colony NorthStar and Lerer Hippeau were joined by Airbus Helicopters and LionTree Ventures. Approximately $38 million was raised.
Concurrent with the financing, the company enters an alliance with Airbus Helicopters to provide customer and helicopter operator technology solutions and on-the-ground customer experience management for the Airbus Ride helicopter service in the Dallas market.
Airbus Ride has operated for two years and will be co-branded with Blade. Additionally, Blade and Airbus will jointly explore launching an intra-city helicopter service in an international market to be determined this year. This jointly owned service will be Blade’s first new market launch overseas.
The company will use the proceeds from the financing to expand the depth of schedule for its core routes, accelerate the rollout of new markets, and to continue to fortify the Blade brand.
“Airbus Helicopters continues to develop the future of the urban air mobility (UAM) market, and our alliance with Blade is the next logical step in our quest to offer customers the full spectrum of urban air travel solutions,” said Matthieu Louvot, executive vice president of customer support and services for Airbus Helicopters. “By partnering with Blade, we are setting a strong foundation for the future, which will be the successful deployment of electronic vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) systems.”
“Blade has created a very desirable and highly recognized brand by offering a compelling aviation experience to a new generation of fliers — and its world-class booking platform and strong aviation operator technologies remain unmatched,” said Eric Hippeau, managing partner of Lerer Hippeau. “We look forward to the team continuing to build upon their success in new markets both in the U.S. and abroad.”
“Given Colony’s strong real estate expertise, as well as its Los Angeles headquarters location, we look forward to working with the Blade team on expanding their West Coast presence, as well as helping to identify future landing zones for both helicopters and next-generation eVTOL aircraft,” said Justin Chang, managing director, Colony NorthStar