When Sergey Petrossov was charging into his venture in 2016, he had the look and voice of a high stakes Vegas player. He was all in and not looking back ever in case a moment of hesitation caused him to lose it all. Fast forward to 2019, and Petrossov as the founder of JetSmarter has raised $105 million from major investors like Jay Z and the Saudi royal family to make his company fly higher. Objective analysts peg JetSmarter at a valuation of approximately $1.5 billion and climbing. The company is a classic investor unicorn, the diamond in the rough everyone looks for in a startup.
Now, Petrossov spends his time managing the exponential organizational growth, moving from just 50 employees to hiring all over the place nationwide with more than 260 staff. The company has private jet legs across the U.S., Europe and of course the Middle East with further expansion plans into China, India, and South America.
Dubbed the Uber of private jet flying, JetSmarter utilizes the mobile app platform and website to give folks the ability to use jets without the infrastructure cost of maintaining the actual aircraft itself. The membership is $14,000 a year, but it’s already a hit with 8,000 regular members.
The freedom for members to plan their flights and either fly in a pool to the same destination or private has generated big demand, and companies love the idea that they are only paying for the cost of the actual transportation needed versus additional sunk expenses. The popularity is proven in the statistics, flying more than 45,000 different passengers in 2018. Petrossov is looking further now to leverage the social aspect of JetSmarter, but he is already riding the rapids downriver to success. Looking forward, he sees the next destination as a lifestyle engagement with end-to-end service enhancements as well. They will likely be a hit as well with Petrossov’s mobile approach and service.