Surf Air, a membership-based flight service offering trips between SoCal and NorCal smaller airports like Palo Alto, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, just closed its Series A round of funding.
This round was led by Anthem Venture Partners, and saw participation from NEA, TriplePoint Capital, Siemer Ventures, Baroda Ventures, Gilad and Eytan Elbaz, Rick Caruso, Jeffrey Stibel and early Uber investor Mike Walsh.
The company is currently not officially disclosing the size of the round.
This new service that hopes to utilize the smaller airports that sprinkle up and down the California coast is the first non-Internet tech company to exit the LA incubator MuckerLab just a few weeks ago.
Surf Air is focused on helping frequent business and leisure travelers become members that don’t pay per flight, but get “all-you-can-fly” benefits for $1,000 per month. At launch, the company set up a fixed schedule with 3 planes making 10 or more flights per day at 72 to 84 minutes apiece.
With 29 over-burdened airports in the U.S., there are many other small airports that don't get that much traffic and can help releave some of the congestion.
This funding will allow Surf Air to continue its plans to launch a unique membership-based private air service in the late summer of 2012.
"We are very pleased to fund Surf Air, which possesses the right blend of industry vision and superior management which is the recipe for success," said William Woodward, Partner at Anthem Venture Partners, said in a statement. "The private air industry is ripe for innovation, and Surf Air's membership model will be very attractive to a wide range of business and leisure travelers."
Surf Air currently accepting interested parties for its wait list application and has already signed on 500 members for its first launch.
For as low as $790 a month, Surf Air members will enjoy unlimited, scheduled flight benefits, on-site concierge service and first-class luxury on mid-sized executive aircraft. Surf Air eliminates the hassles, cost and wasted time of current travel options by offering its members 30-second booking and cancellations, travel to and from uncongested regional airports, and an easy arrive-and-fly process with no hassle, no lines and no extra fees.
In addition to the standard membership benefits, Surf Air Founding Members will receive unlimited complimentary guest passes and have access to exclusive events and offers. Founding Membership is a three-month, early adopter membership that initiates when Surf Air launches service this summer.
Surf Air has hopes that this model will encourage business travelers and frequent fliers to use smaller services and the company has aspirations to expand throughout the US in the future. If it means less time waiting in line at TSA and fewer people to wait to board I might be interested in this option as well.