Aero — a Luxury Jet Startup Backed by Uber Co-Founder — Raises $20 Million

By Jemima McEvoy Monday, March 8, 2021

Aero Technologies has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round. The San Francisco-based startup — backed by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp — brands itself as a next-generation premium air travel company. The startup, like most in the $686 billion airline industry, is hoping this money will help its business take off again after a year of tough knocks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Closeup of a private business jet.

What is Aero Technologies?

The startup was launched in 2019 out of Camp’s startup studio Expa. Camp, a Canadian serial entrepreneur whose net worth is valued at $4.4 billion, is the chairman of ride hailing company Uber, which went public in 2019 at $82 billion. One of Camp’s ventures before that startup was a web discovery company, StumbleUpon, which he sold to eBay in 2007 for $75 billion.

The company was built with the goal of offering luxury private jet travel while charging “less than the cost of commercial first class,” according to a 2019 article from TechCrunch. The startup had planned to launch in the summer of 2020 after buying and retrofitting planes and running test flights in Mykonos and Ibiza. However, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed these plans, and the company was only able to offer its services once border restrictions began to dissipate and customers exhibited openness to air travel once again. Uma Subramanian, the CEO of the startup, said the business was ultimately gross margin positive in July and August.

Money & Investors

The business has raised a total of $39.5 million to date, according to Crunchbase. Prior to this recent fundraising round, the company raised $3.5 million in a 2018 Seed Round led by Expa and GGV Capital. The same two firms invested in the business in a $16 million Series A round in October 2019.

Finally, the company pulled in $20 million in its most recent funding round, which closed in January. This round was led by Keyframe Capital, a New York City-based investment firm whose chief investment officer joined Aero’s board, as well as Expa and Cyrus Capital Partners.

Future Plans

The business plans to use this money to expand its team and its flight offerings. Subramanian, who previously launched Airbus’s helicopter service Vroom.Flights. The startup is adding a route between Los Angeles and Cabo San Lucas to its list in April, and is also exploring new destinations in Europe. “We’re looking at a broad range of destinations,” Subramanian told InsideHook.

About the Author

Headshot of Jemima McEvoy

Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.

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