Govt aviation Uber, Flapper raises BRL 30 million with DXA and Arien
Company already obtains 50% of revenue from international flights and had already raised R$ 10 million with Aerotec and ACE funds
The new sharing economy, which started with group-buying sites and gave rise to apps like Uber, has reached private jets. In Brazil, even. Following in the footsteps of American NetJets, Flapper, a Brazilian on-demand business aviation platform, has just raised another R$30 million in the extension of its series A. The round was led by manager DXA Invest and alternative investment fund Arien Invest , complementing the R$ 10 million that the Aerotec sector fund and ACE Startups had already contributed to the company.
“Brazil is a continental country and has a huge audience for this business,” Paul Malicki, CEO and founder of Flapper, tells Pipeline. “About 20% to 30% of executive flights fly empty in the country, on the way or back. Doesn’t it make more sense to offer flights by seat, like Airbnb does with spare rooms in an apartment? Now, we can offer this ticket, or the entire aircraft, in our marketplace.”
Flapper was founded in 2016 by Malicki, an executive who has worked at unicorns such as Nubank, Farfetch and even MasterCard, as an advisor. The idea arose from a demand of the entrepreneur, who was CMO at Easy Taxi at the time and struggled to get flights that fit the schedule. The local potential was another attractive factor: São Paulo has a larger helicopter fleet than New York or San Francisco, which indicates that there is a high-end public and executive demand.
Today, Flapper has 350,000 recurring users on the application and 1,150 aircraft registered to serve them. On average, the platform performs 300 flights per month. Recently, Flapper also started to offer the service of transporting small loads. The model is asset light: no plane is its own — the startup is considering taking over the flight operations in the near future.
The pandemic gave a boost: fleeing the agglomerations of commercial flights, executives increased demand by 40% during the most critical months. Since it was founded, Flapper has multiplied its revenue by 2.5x each year. Today 40% of revenue comes from B2B operations for banks, hospitals and other corporate customers.
“Here, we really like the real economy, and we see that the private aviation market is much less prone to crises. We find the model interesting, the contact with the user at the end, it has a very interesting asset management, an intangible value in the business that reduces risk. In addition, it has scalability and the growth pattern shows a certain level of maturity”, said Ana Vasques, head of research at DXA Invest.
“We have an infratech thesis and Flapper was one of the companies most aligned with our decarbonization and digitalization strategy. We also trust Paul, we know he has a brilliant career: we have always sought to be close to people with a synergy of ethical profile and purpose”, amended Mário Candido Neto, partner at Arien Invest.
The funding will help Flapper reach higher levels. With the contribution, the startup will finance the strengthening of the international operation. Today, 50% of Flapper’s revenue is already made up of flights taking off or landing outside Brazil. The main destinations include Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, and Florida, in the USA, in addition to having some representatives in Europe. The resources will also allow investment in technology – the plan is to offer individual aircraft quotas through the platform.
Source: Value Pipeline