Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is announcing his return to investing this morning, leading a $7 million dollar investment in private jet company JetSuite. This will be Hsieh’s first investment since personally investing in Zappos at the age of 24.
In addition to the funding, Hsieh will be joining the JetSuite board, along with JetSuite CEO Alex Wilcox, JetBlue founder David Neeleman and JetSuite Chairman of the Board Art Samberg.
JetSuite will be using the financing to buy more planes, adding two more planes to its fleet of Embraer Phenom 100 planes. Jetsuite currently flies privately throughout the Southwest, the Continental US, Canada and Mexico.
Hsieh tells me that the investment is primarily an attempt to increase the number of flights between Las Vegas and San Francisco, “My focus over the next few years is to invest in projects that will contribute to the revitalization of downtown Las Vegas … The investment in JetSuite will help shorten the psychological distance between downtown Las Vegas and Silicon Valley as well as LA,” presumably by increasing the flights between the two.
Hsieh tells me that an added benefit of the service being private is that you avoid airport security, “You can literally walk out of your house or office in SF and 2 hours later walk into your house or office in Vegas (or vice versa).”
In keeping with the “revitalize Vegas” theme, Hsieh also just recently announced an investment in First Friday Las Vegas.