Portside, an aviation startup that is building a platform for managing the backend of a corporate flight department, charter operation, government fleet and fractional ownership operation, today announced that it has raised a $17 million funding round led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from existing investors I2BF Global Ventures and SOMA Capital.
The idea behind Portside, which was founded in 2018, is that it lets business aviation companies and flight departments manage everything from flight operations to maintenance, crew and staff scheduling, expense management for crew members and staff, and financial data to help them operate more efficiently. It’s basically everything you need to run your flight department in a single solution, but it also integrates with virtually all of the existing scheduling, accounting, expense management and maintenance tools a flight department or fractional ownership operation is likely using today.
While the COVID pandemic put a halt to most forms of private aviation early on, that market saw a quick rebound. Portside says it saw its revenue grow almost 300% in 2020 and that it added more than 50 aircraft operators in multiple countries to its user base.
“This infusion of new capital will be used to accelerate investment in product innovation, support further engagement with large enterprise customers and grow our global engineering and customer success teams,” said Alek Vernitsky, co-founder and CEO of Portside. “We appreciate the strong support we have received from both our existing and new investors in this round. They have collectively demonstrated their confidence in our strategy and intentional approach to cloud-based digital transformation of the global business aviation industry.”
Portside is not alone in this market. Companies like Fl3xx, for example, offer similar solutions for flight departments and at the lower end, tools like Flight Circle offer a subset of these features for general aviation clubs and partnerships.
“Portside has progressed rapidly since inception and is entering the next stage of fulfilling its vision of becoming the undisputed leader in cloud-based solutions for business aviation,” stated John Curtius, partner at Tiger Global Management. “In our view, Portside represents the future of the industry, and we are pleased to partner with a company we believe will continue to create significant value for many years to come.”