Aircell, a provider of in-flight WiFi services, has raised $35 million in few financing. Existing investors Ripplewood Holdings, Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners and Oakleigh Thorne all participated in the financing. Aircell is based in Itasca, Illinois.
Aircell, the world’s leading provider of inflight connectivity, today announced that it has closed a $35M financing with its existing investors and Aircell’s management team. Through its Gogo®, Gogo Biz™, and other services, Aircell offers Internet connectivity on laptops, smartphones and PDAs on nine of the top 11 U.S. airlines and on nearly 6,000 business aircraft, enhancing the inflight experience for passengers. Proceeds of the financing will be used to fund growth in both commercial and business aviation markets.
“2010 was the year Inflight Internet went mainstream and Aircell established its leadership in this exciting new mobile Internet venue,” said Michael Small, Aircell President and CEO. “Since securing our exclusive spectrum license in 2006, we’ve raised more than $500M.” Existing investors include Ripplewood Holdings, a major private equity group, Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners and other investment entities associated with investor/entrepreneur Oakleigh Thorne.
During 2010, Aircell achieved tremendous growth through diversified revenue from both the commercial and business aviation markets. By year end 2010:
* Gogo Inflight Internet Service was available on more than 1,050 commercial aircraft operating 3,800 flights daily in the U.S.
* In the business aviation market, Aircell had nearly 6,000 customers that operate a wide range of aircraft all over the world.
* With Bombardier Aerospace’s selection of Aircell in October, communications systems are now available as original equipment at every major manufacturer in the business aviation industry. This encompasses nearly 40 factory aircraft programs all over the world.
* Aircell equipment is flying aboard the world’s most prolific fractional ownership and charter fleets, including Flight Options, Flexjet, NetJets, XOJET, and others.
* In business aviation, Gogo Biz became the fastest-selling service in the company’s history. Just over a year after availability, shipments and orders were already approaching 1,000 units.
* Leading companies such as Google, Hewlett Packard, Ford, Facebook, People.com and Skymall partnered with Aircell to bring Gogo access and special content to passengers.
Moving forward in 2011, Aircell expects to increase its base of installed aircraft by an average of three per day in the airline market. Gogo is available on all AirTran Airways, Virgin America and mainline Delta Air Lines flights; as well as flights operated by Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways, with service on Frontier Airlines expected to begin shortly.
Aircell® is the world’s leading provider of inflight connectivity. As the winner of an exclusive FCC frequency license in 2006, Aircell has built a revolutionary mobile broadband network for commercial and business aviation. In 2008, the Aircell Network and its inflight portal, Gogo® revolutionized the commercial airline passenger flight experience by delivering a robust Internet experience at 35,000 feet. In addition, Aircell Network provides airlines with connectivity to operations and a path to enhanced cabin services such as video, audio, television and more. A similar feature set is available to Business aircraft operators. Aircell has more than 300 employees at facilities in Broomfield, Colorado, and Itasca, Illinois. Aircell’s vision is to give everyone the ability to stay in touch, in flight®. For more information about Aircell, please visit www.aircell.com.
Gogo®, powered by Aircell, turns a commercial airplane into a Wi-Fi hotspot with true inflight Internet access. Passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs, can surf the Web, check email, instant messaging, access a corporate VPN and more. For more information about Gogo, please visit www.gogoinflight.com. You can also follow ‘gogoInflight’ on Twitter (www.twitter.com/gogoinflight) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/gogoinflight).