Business aviation operators are often challenged with crew and aircraft shortages as they try and meet the increased post-pandemic demand for air travel. With industry-wide staffing shortages, operators need to figure out how to attract pilots and other crew members – whether to fill full-time vacancies or temporary positions to meet urgent scheduling needs. Have to add
Inspired to create tech-forward solutions, Alec Wornitsky and Alec Strigin co-founded PortSide, which enables aircraft operators to communicate with owners, banks and insurance companies through a web-based portal about schedules, financial and maintenance data and Allows sharing of other major aircraft information. , Portside today announced that it raised $50 million in a Series B funding round led by Insight Partners, with participation from existing investors including I2BF Global Ventures, bringing the company’s total raised to over $70 million.
Portside is Wornitsky and Strigin’s second venture after tour agency startup GetGoing, which they sold to business travel management firm BCD Travel in 2016. GetGoing Acquisition.
“Portside provides a unified platform and strives to be a one-stop shop for flight departments,” Varnitsky told TechCrunch via email. “As operators scale, they need to drive efficiencies through technology. Portside’s product suite gives them the ability to streamline workflows while making the best use of their aviation assets.
To this end, Portside provides tools to automatically allocate crew and aircraft based on a given schedule and standardize how business aviation trips are reported. Portside’s staffing marketplace gives employers access to a database of pilots and crew while a dedicated Services app helps manage crew accommodation. In addition, Portside maintains an operations management portal that helps schedule and dispatch government, corporate and charter flights using existing aviation systems.
“Commercial aircraft are now more capable than ever in terms of flying more people over longer distances, which means many more trips are now international, and more complex from a logistical and regulatory perspective,” Wernitsky continued. “Having an integrated system that links operational, financial and maintenance data is now paramount to a successful journey.”
Business has been pretty good, Wernitsky said — even during the pandemic. It helps that business aviation as a market is expanding at a rapid clip. A Honeywell survey released last October forecast 8,500 new business jet deliveries from 2023 to 2032 valued at $274 billion, a 15% increase in both deliveries and spending from the same 10-year forecast a year earlier. Another survey – this one from Airbus – found that 89% of businesses with annual revenues of more than $500 million plan to increase their use of business aviation in 2023.
Why the strong growth? The Airbus poll offers some insight. Eighty-one percent of respondents said they became increasingly dependent on business aviation during the pandemic, while 63% cited expected problems in the commercial aviation sector, such as flight delays and cancellations.
Whatever the reason, Portside has certainly benefited. The company today claims to support nearly 1,000 operators of private, commercial and government aircraft in over 30 countries. There are more than 10,000 aircraft on the portside platform, Wernitsky claims, and more than 50,000 users.
“Business aviation grew tremendously during the pandemic, and portside traffic grew almost 3x per year over the past few years. Business aviation continues to evolve, and we intend to continue developing innovative products for the industry,” said Varnitsky.
Varnitsky says capital from the latest round of funding will be put toward software development and “further expansion” of PortSide’s customer base and product portfolio. The startup currently employs 110 people and hopes to grow to 150 by the end of the year.