The newly formed investment vehicle, Alyssum, has acquired UK flightplanning and trip support company RocketRoute, as part of its long-term strategy to transform the global business aviation services industry.
Alyssum was formed in January by Clive Jackson, co-founder of online business jet charter marketplace Victor. The company received an $18 million investment from BBA Aviation, BP Ventures and existing shareholders to help create what Jackson calls "an ecosystem, enabling business aviation industry stakeholders to boost efficiency and profitability by sharing data and business intelligence".
Through its affiliation with Victor, Alyssum aims to significantly improve the end-to-end charter quotation, booking and transaction processes between operators and brokers. "The system for booking a charter flight today is long-winded and absurd," notes Jackson, who has helped Victor to turn over around $250 million in charter bookings over the past five years.
He says around 90% of contracts between broker and operator are done on paper, which is "incredibly time-consuming and inefficient".
Rather than "wait around for a platform to be built", Jackson says: "We have decided to take the initiative."
Alyssum is seeking to develop integrated software that will transform this booking process, Jackson adds. The digital platform will also provide a "one-stop-shop", he says, to a range of ancillary services, from catering, finance, fuel, to maintenance and flightplanning. "We will basically line up all the dots," Jackson says.
RocketRoute – which offers flightplanning, fuel and concierge services – is the first of many acquisitions planned by Alyssum to help it create the "ideal digital marketplace".
The company, headquartered in London, hopes to raise around $100 million in 2018 to help fund its ambitious plans, which also include building a global "super-broker" network under the Victor brand.
BBA, one of the largest business aviation services companies in the world, and owner of the Signature Flight Support fixed-base operator chain, says the platform will enable it to explore new ways to better serve passengers, operators and aircraft owners, as well as develop "a broader set of partnerships across the business/general aviation industry".
BP's investment in Alyssum comes four months after it injected $10 million in Victor to become the preferred fuel supplier for flights arranged through its booking platform.