On-demand private jet charter broker Victor has raised $18 million from BBA Aviation, BP Ventures and existing shareholders
Following Victor’s BP Ventures-led Series B investment round of $20 million in September the company is back raising more money, including the creation of a new corporate umbrella that will be known as Alyssum Group Ltd. Victor said it will now which pursue an “acquisitive strategy within general aviation sector,” according to a press release received by Private Jet Card Comparisons. It said this new money signals closure of the Series B process as Alyssum Group gears up for planned Series C investment round in mid-2018. Victor Founder & CEO Clive Jackson appointed Group Chief Executive of Alyssum Group.
Over the past two years, big money has been pouring into operators, brokers and those like Victor which span both online and offline on-demand charter strategies. Wheels Up, Jet Smarter, VistaJet, JetSuite and Stellar Labs with Victor have reported raising over $500 million in new investments.
According to the release, the formation of Alyssum Group is “the beginning of a significant, long-term initiative with backing from key strategic players in the aviation industry.” The group will “create a connected ecosystem enabling stakeholders across the aviation industry to boost efficiency and maximize profitability by sharing data and business intelligence, and developing a robust set of commercial and business standards that ensures the general aviation sector continue to advance.”
Victor’s claimed USP is “booking transparency, underpinned by smart technology and high touch customer service…disclosing operator tail numbers and capped booking fees.” It says, “The same ethos of transparency will underpin Alyssum Group. In connecting proven, forward-thinking industry players willing to support change, the company aims to improve the end-to-end charter quotation, booking and transaction processes between operators and charter brokers and, in doing so, create greater consistency of charter service and delivery.” The company has also said it will bring its version of a Jet Card to the U.S. sometime in the first half of 2018.
Clive Jackson, Alyssum Group, Founder & CEO, said: “Victor’s first fundraising in 2012, was the start of a 10-year plan that has helped the company become the number one consumer brand and underlying e-commerce platform for the general aviation industry, and paved the way for Alyssum Group’s creation. I’m excited about facilitating further change across the general aviation industry, as well as working with an expanded team of talented managers and partners for the next phase of our journey.”
Mark Johnstone, BBA Aviation, CEO designate, said: “We remain committed to delivering value in business & general aviation, and bringing the best possible service to our many discerning customers. Partnering with Victor and the broader Alyssum team allows us to remain at the forefront of the most cutting-edge digital advances in the industry.” BBA’s Signature Flight Support is the largest operator of FBOs globally.
Akira Kirton, BP Ventures, Managing Director, said: “This latest investment reinforces our commitment to Victor, and Alyssum Group, as a long-term strategic investor and partner. We are keen to support Alyssum Group in its vision to create a digital marketplace that services the entire private aviation industry, from customers to suppliers. The creation of the group further demonstrates our pledge to helping advance early-stage businesses whose technologies complement the wider BP business, whilst also driving carbon reductions through BP’s Target Neutral program.”
The announcement by Victor and the creation of Alyssum is the latest sign that the charter and Jet Card space of the private aviation industry is getting ready for a wave of consolidation. Blue Star Jets founder Ricky Sitomer previously announced his intention to create a roll-up of charter brokers while U.K.-based PrivateFly acquired U.S. broker Bird Dog Jet recently.
The role of technology and people is still debated in the charter market where the primary customer base is still principally Ultra High Net Worth families and top corporate executives who value personal relationships with service providers. At the same time technology led brokers like Victor, PrivateFly, StrataJet and Stellar Aero continue to make gains.