SurfAir, the company launching a new small jet service between Silicon Valley and Southern California, has gotten so much interest from the Venture Capital community that we’re hearing it’s accepting a little more than expected.
When we originally interviewed SurfAir CEO Wade Eyerly last March, he indicated the company was seeking about $2 million. But over the past couple of days we’ve gotten unsolicited calls from investors, who wish to remain anonymous at this point, who have told us that there was so much demand that the company has raised nearly $14 million.
I contacted SurfAir and no one would confirm the number. However SS/PR did confirm the round had closed, and a press release would be on its way soon. SurfAir launched in March as a small airline, which will take-off and land from small airports throughout California (pretty much serving the tech community). At that time, Eyerly said he would seek venture capital, telling me on camera they were looking at about $2 million in first-round funding.
But that didn’t seem like enough to fund such a capital intensive business as an airline. Turns out it wasn’t.
Who would’ve thought that one of the most capital intensive businesses with a first-time entrepreneur at the helm, would receive between $11 – $14 million dollars? But Wade Eyerly managed to do it.
At the time SurfAir launched in March, Eyerly had only been an entrepreneur for eight weeks. He has been working out of Southern California incubator Mucker Labs, which has been the source for much of the advice he’s received on running a start-up. It’s the first non-tech start-up to grow within the confines of Mucker Labs. Eyerly’s plan is to build a new subscription-based airline where members will buy a $1000 per month membership and book flights like they do movies on Netflix — after members take a flight, they can book again.
The first round of funding will help the company get it’s beta launched later this summer. Last I heard the company had a lot more interest than it had spots for that round, which means it could be bringing in $500,000 per month to operate from the 500 who are expected to be accepted and will pay to participate in the test phase.