With airline customer complaints nearing record highs, especially when it comes to issues of on-time arrivals and departures, air-charter service FlightTime this month raised $25 million in its second round of funding.
Founded in 1985 by Jane McBride and Patricia Zinkowski, FightTime first sought out private equity investments last year so that it could invest in new technologies and products. To date, the Waltham, Mass.-based company has received a total of $35 million in outside investments.
The most recent funding was led by Amerland Holdings Corp., of the Latsis Group. Existing investors Southeast Interactive Technology Funds, Axxon Capital, Covestco-Seteura LLC and BancBoston Ventures also participated.
The company touts clients such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Procter & Gamble and has been profitable for the last 14 years.
“By design, in the way of growth, [we] have accepted a loss,” said Michael Folio, the company?s chief executive. “The funding we received allows us to invest in technology, and sales and marketing. We will be profitable again in 2002, without further need.”
Last year, FlightTime brought in $40 million in revenue and is projecting it will have a 50% increase over that figure by 2003.
Sheryl Marshall, a co-founder of Axxon Capital, a venture firm that funds women- and minority-owed businesses, said her firm decided to invest in FlightTime because “we know how terrible it is to fly nowadays. Business travel is not shrinking but airport delays are increasing,” she said.
Axxon currently has six portfolio companies and makes introductions between the companies when appropriate. “If a company has charter needs we make introductions,” said Marshall.
Paula Groves, the other Axxon co-founder, said that she doesn?t believe FlightTime will need more venture dollars but that it all depends on the company?s rate of growth and the economic climate.
Contact Danielle Fugazy: Danielle.Fugazy@tfn.com