Wheels Up completes $128 million Class D equity capital raise with $1.1 billion + valuation

By Doug Gollan, August 9, 2019

The jet card membership company said it will use the money for accelerating membership growth and possible acquisitions

Wheels Up said that it has completed its Class D equity capital raise of $128 million, according to a press release received by Private Jet Card Comparisons. The funds will be used to accelerate membership growth, fund technology investment, and perhaps even more acquisitions. In 2017, it raised $117.5 million in equity capital and $90 million in debt financing via KKR.

Earlier this year it had said it had hired Bank of America and Goldman Sachs to advise it on strategic initiatives.

New to the company’s roster of institutional investors from this round are funds managed by Franklin Templeton, which co-led the round with funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price and Fidelity Management & Research, along with other institutional and private investors.

The company’s post-money enterprise valuation is north of $1.1 billion, according to the release.

The raise comes on the heels of the Wheels Up’s recent acquisition of Travel Management Company, which closed in May.

For this transaction, Wheels Up was represented by Jefferies, LLC.

Wheels Up growth

Wheels Up founder and CEO Kenny Dichter said this latest round of financing will fund a number of business initiatives, including additional potential acquisitions, the acceleration of membership growth through further investment in sales and marketing, and significant scaling of the Company’s technology and digital platforms.

“The continued support from our existing investors and the strong interest from new institutions in our latest investment round reinforce the dominance that Wheels Up continues to exhibit as an innovative disruptor and leading force in the private aviation and technology industries,” said Dichter, adding, “As we invest further in growth-focused initiatives, we will focus on potential strategic acquisitions and rapid digital advancements to further our mission of bringing the highest-quality private flight to millions and the private-flying lifestyle to the world, in order to execute our vision of building the world’s most engaged community of private fliers.”

Wheels Up was represented by Goldman Sachs and BofA Merrill Lynch as placement agents for the Class D equity private placement.

So far this year, Wheels Up has launched a fixed-rate light jet program, and Wheels Up Connect, a new entry-level membership targeting jet sharing.

Read more about Wheels Up with our Jet Card Insider report here. Compare Wheels Up and over 50 jet card membership providers.

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