Helo Ride-sharing Service Blade Obtains More Funding

Helicopter ride-sharing service Blade announced recently that it raised an additional $38 million in investor capital from lead investors, including Colony NorthStar and Lerer Hippeau, along with Airbus Helicopters and LionTree Ventures. The company is using the proceeds to “expand the depth of schedule for its core routes, accelerate the rollout of new markets, and continue to fortify the Blade brand.”

Concurrent with the financing, the company has formed an alliance with Airbus Helicopters to provide customer and helicopter operator technology solutions and on-the-ground customer-experience management for the Airbus Ride helicopter service in the Dallas market. Airbus Ride has operated for two years and will be co-branded with Blade.

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"This is really a big deal. This is a lot of money," says the AHS chief.

Additionally, Blade and Airbus will jointly explore launching an intra-city helicopter service in an international market to be determined this year. This jointly owned service will be Blade's first new-market launch overseas.

Airbus views the alliance with Blade as another piece of its emerging electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicle strategy. “Airbus Helicopters continues to develop the future of the urban air mobility market, and our alliance with Blade is the next logical step in our quest to offer customers the full spectrum of urban air-travel solutions,” said Matthieu Louvot, executive vice president of customer support and services for Airbus Helicopters. “By partnering with Blade, we are setting a strong foundation for the future, which will be the successful deployment of electronic vertical-takeoff-and-landing systems,” he said.