Subscription Flight Service Beacon Lands $7.5M In Series A Funding

Beacon, a subscription flight service founded by former Surf Air CEO Wade Eyerly (and two other Surf Air Co-founders), announced that the company has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding.

The round was led by Romulus Capital with participation from MiVentures, Western Technologies Investment, and other early stage investors.

Officially launching in early September, Beacon is Eyerly’s attempt to take what he learned at Surf Air and bring it to the East Coast.

While cities along the Northeast Corridor are closer together than most West Coast destinations, severe automotive congestion and frequent train delays (looking at you, Amtrak) means that there is a big opportunity for a service like Beacon to target both corporate commuters and high-income travelers.

The service operates very similarly to Surf Air. For a flat fee of $2,000 a month, travelers can take unlimited flights on any Beacon route, and have up to four flights reserved at once.

However, flyers can upgrade beyond that entry-level plan and add a family member or increase the amount of flights they can have reserved at once.

There are a few things that Beacon will do differently than Surf Air, its West Coast competitor.

Most notably, Beacon won’t own its own planes or employ its own pilots. Instead, the company will partner with FAA-regulated operators like Dynamic Aviation, with which Beacon recently signed a $400 million agreement to receive 27 planes over the next three years. According to Eyerly, this new model will make the startup much more capital efficient and allow Beacon to grow at a faster pace. 

Eyerly also told TechCrunch that this funding will be used to add sales staff and concierges (which is a Beacon employee at each airport to help with flight-day logistics), as well as make deposits on Beacon’s new aircrafts.

The company will first launch with a route between NYC and Boston, then expand to cities like Washington DC and Philadelphia, as well as seasonal destinations like The Hamptons and Nantucket.

Beacon will offer its first flight on September 15th, and expects to launch with about 500 people signed up as members.