Odyssey passes first crowd-funding milestone

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Odyssey Airlines has reached its initial target on one of two crowd-funding websites the start-up carrier is using to raise funds.

Its investor pitch on UK website Crowdcube has to date raised £1.05 million ($1.74 million) from 220 individual investors, surpassing a stated target of £1 million.

“We are delighted to have raised our primary target amount on Crowdcube,” says Odyssey chief executive Adam Scott.

“Beyond raising seed capital, the key objectives of our crowd-funding campaigns have been to raise the profile of Odyssey; develop a captive audience of long-term supporters and future customers; and to provide an opportunity for individuals to directly participate in the launch of an airline.”

The largest single investment in Odyssey via Crowdcube was £500,000, while the size of other stakes has not been disclosed. The minimum stake permitted on the website is just £10.

A parallel crowd-funding initiative on US website Crowdfunder has yet to reach its goal, to date raising $420,000 of a targeted $1 million. The minimum investment on that platform is $10,000.

Odyssey admits that the parallel crowd-funding initiatives will provide just a fraction of its overall seed capital. The start-up has to date raised more than £5 million, including £2.2 million committed by Freedman & Partners via the ThinCats peer-to-peer lending website.

The start-up hopes to secure £60 million “via a round of traditional institutional fundraising in the first half of 2015”.

If successful, the all-business-class operator will deploy Bombardier CSeries aircraft on flights from the UK’s London City airport initially to the US East Coast.