Helicopter charter company Blade has raised $38 million to build flying taxi infrastructure from Airbus and Real Estate Investment firm Colony NorthStar. The Series B fundraising also included Lerer Hippeau Ventures and LionTree Ventures.
The funds raised in the Series B round will be used to construct “vertiports” which are similar to helipads, but designed for flying taxis.
Blade and Airbus are partnering on the “Airbus Ride” program in Dallas. Airbus Ride transports users to and from AT&T Stadium on conventional helicopters. The two companies also plan to launch intra-city helicopter flights outside of the U.S., which would mark the first international operation by Blade.
Why it’s important: This fundraising round solidifies Blade as a major contender for a large market share of the flying taxi industry. Blade already has a large amount of experience in the customer facing operation of an aviation charter company. Leveraging this experience will allow Blade to swap helicopters for flying taxis with relative ease.