Wheels Up, a NYC-based private aviation company, completed an equity capital raise of $117.5m.
Fidelity Management & Research Company and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. led the round and were joined by existing investor New Enterprise Associates as well as new institutional investors.
The equity raise, which valued Wheels Up at close to $700m, with an enterprise value north of $1 billion, followed a $90m aircraft financing facility with KKR completed in June of this year.
The company intends to use the funds to add:
– to the Wheels Up exclusive fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft;
– accelerate membership growth through further investment in sales and marketing;
– explorate and plan for an expansion into Western Europe and other markets; and
– enhance its digital platform. Wheels Up is also looking at adding Citation X aircraft to its private fleet of King Air 350i and Citation Excel/XLS, starting as soon as the first quarter of 2018.
Led by Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter, Wheels Up is a membership-based private aviation company that reduces the upfront costs to fly privately, offering guaranteed availability to its private fleet of new Beechcraft King Air 350i and Citation Excel/XLS aircraft to individual, family and corporate members. With the Wheels Up mobile app, members can book flights, manage their accounts, participate in ride-share opportunities and select Hot Flights, a vast selection of one-way “empty leg” flights that are posted daily to the app and updated in real time.
Members also have access to Wheels Down, a program featuring exclusive events and experiences, partner benefits and a full-service luxury concierge.