Wheels Up Brings In $117.5 Million
Transportation company Wheels Up announced it has secured $117.5 million in financing. The round was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company and T. Rowe Price. New Enterprise Associates and KKR also participated.
Wheels Up is a membership-based private aviation company that reduces the cost of flying privately. The company aims to provide unparalleled flexibility, service and safety: The Wheels Up mobile app enables members to book flights, manage their accounts and participate in ride-share opportunities seamlessly. Its members also have access to a program called Wheels Down, featuring exclusive lifestyle events and experiences, unique partner benefits and a full-service luxury concierge.
According to Wheels Up founder and CEO Kenny Dichter, this latest round of financing will fund a number of growth initiatives. They include adding to the company’s fleet of beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft; accelerating membership growth through further investment in sales and marketing; continued exploration of, and planning for, an expansion into western Europe and other markets; and significant enhancement of the company’s digital platform. Wheels Up is also looking at adding Citation X aircraft to its fleet, starting as soon as the first quarter of 2018.