Bringing Everyone the Freedom of Flight

BlackBird raised $10MM to make flying as convenient, accessible, and affordable as driving

Mar 12, 2019 · 3 min read

Driving isn’t what it used to be. Over the past 50 years, we’ve traded freedom and potential, for traffic and packed parking lots — but we still look at life through the lens of a car, basing our homes, jobs, and vacations around how long it takes to drive there. At BlackBird, we believe that we’ll all go farther without the opposition of distance. When flying is as accessible as driving, defying gravity becomes a reality.

We’re excited to announce that New Enterprise Associates (NEA) shares our vision, and led our $10 million Series A. As the world’s first aviation marketplace, we’re pushing transportation technology forward by connecting people, pilots, and planes, and we’re thrilled to do so with the support of the world’s largest and most active venture capital firm.

Why NEA?

NEA has supported countless transformative companies that have changed the way we live. Lead investor Jonathan Golden, who has extensive marketplace domain expertise from his years at Airbnb, will join our Board of Directors alongside Francoise Brougher (of Pinterest, Square, and Google) and Andrew Swain (also Airbnb).

What’s Next

This year is already off to an incredible start. We’ve welcomed 15 new team members, added hundreds of planes and pilots to the platform, and debuted a fresh new look.

I’m most proud of our incredibly talented and growing team. Among many others, we’re grateful to have Brian Hsu join as COO. Brian has spent his career scaling marketplaces, formerly as eBay’s GM of North America and most recently, as the Vice President of Supply at Lyft.

We also now offer two ways to fly: joining a flight and creating one. Guests can simply hop on a flight that’s already going, with seats starting as low as $50. For a more customized experience, BlackBird makes it easy to create a flight, giving you control to choose everything from the route, time, aircraft and pilot.

In addition to passengers, pilots and aircraft owners complete the BlackBird trifecta. Commercial pilots now have a way to make money on their own schedule, giving flights without being forced to commit to a major airline. Our safety screening ensures that only the best climb into the cockpit, with every pilot meeting the BlackBird Gold Standard in certifications, experience, and health. If you’re interested in applying or have a friend in mind, we’re always looking for amazing pilots.

Our Aircraft Owners Program not only provides aircraft for passengers and pilots to ride in, but also helps owners make money when their plane would otherwise be parked. BlackBird makes these planes available to rent while they’re not in use, making airplane ownership more affordable. Learn how it works.

Whether it’s time for a long weekend in Santa Barbara, the commute to Palo Alto, or a surprise family trip to Disneyland, BlackBird flies people for less than the cost of driving there — and none of the hassle.

Why Transportation is Key

By removing barriers to flight, BlackBird is making air travel more accessible for all.

Between scooters, bikes, and cars, on-demand transportation has dominated the headlines in the 21st century, but the infrastructure is missing a key component: air travel. BlackBird is the cornerstone, helping make car ownership a thing of the past without sacrificing the ability to take longer trips.

By spreading the freedom of flight, we’re fostering the freedom to commute from the suburbs to the city. The freedom to get a taste of nature on the weekend, and replace hours behind the wheel with newly made memories.

Our marketplace gives people the freedom to travel between 50 and 500 miles for less time and money than driving. With this investment, BlackBird will be able to bring more pilots, planes, and people onboard in 2019.

Buckle up. This is going to be BlackBird’s biggest year yet, and we’re ready to welcome you onboard.

Rudd Davis
CEO and Founder, BlackBird

If you’re a traveler, pilot, or aircraft owner, join our mission at

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