Latin American on-demand private jet charter platform Flapper announced a $2 million Series A investment, led by the aerospace-focused fund, Confrapar. Other participants included the crowdfunding platform SMU and an angel investor group, Investidores.VC. Foreign and local investors, including three undisclosed air taxi companies, also participated in the round. The company has previously raised $1 million in Seed funding, led by Confrapar and ACE, Brazil’s largest accelerator.
According to Paul Malicki, Flapper’s CEO, the capital will be used primarily to fuel its international expansion in Latin America. “We have proved that the business model, based on on-demand charter flights and seat-sharing is not only scalable but also highly profitable”, said Malicki. “We hence consider our Series A as purely growth capital, we intend to use to replicate the success of our Brazilian operations elsewhere in the region, while continuing to develop our core product and new solutions for air taxi operators”, he continued.
Kadu Guillaume, Confrapar’s managing partner and board member at Flapper, said, “The present pandemic has fundamentally changed the travel sector, and Flapper is well-positioned to further democratize access to business aviation services.”
He continued, “We’ve seen a number of disruptive technologies – including eVTOL, hybrid-electric aircraft, and flight-sharing interfaces – getting closer to technical maturity, and it’s clear that in the next five years, we will experience a fundamental change in the way aerial mobility is being consumed.”
Confrapar previously invested in the energy storage provider Unicoba and the UAV company xmobots.
In 2020, Flapper grew its year-on-year revenues by 100%. It reached 250’000 mobile app users at the end of this January.
Flapper now has more than 550 safety-vetted aircraft on its charter platform, roughly 55% of the charter fleet available in Latin America. It estimates the Latam charter market’s size to be the equivalent of at least $2 billion, mostly split between Brazil and Mexico.
Brazil has a network of 2,457 airports, out of which only around 120 are connected through commercial aviation. The country is considered the second-largest business aviation market in the world – just behind the U.S., says Flapper.
Lack of consumer technology and an efficient seat distribution strategy results in an under-utilized sector, where only 22% of all flights are commercialized by air taxi companies, according to the Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC). Flapper’s own research shows Brazil has over 400.000 potential clients for charters and 2.7 million potential pay-per-seat buyers. Mexico, the world’s third-largest business aviation market, recently surpassed Brazil in the number of private jets, but it lags in terms of turboprops and helicopters.