Blade gets another cash lift
Steve’s breakdown: Just read the copy on their website and you’ll realize these guys need some help and now they have the cash.
NEW YORK, NY: Blade is picking up some impressive backers along with a growing number of customers.
The tech start-up, best known for its on-demand helicopter service from New York City to the Hamptons, said last week that Kenneth Lerer has joined its board.
Lerer’s venture capital firm, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, has poured cash into businesses as diverse as BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and eyewear firm Warby Parker, according its Web site.
Lerer, the managing partner of Lerer Hippeau, will serve as Blade’s chairman, the company said.
Blade also closed a Series A funding round, it said. Investors in the latest round include Joe Ravitch and Jeff Sine’s Raine Ventures and a personal investment by Discovery Communications Chief Executive David Zaslav.
Blade is also backed by iHeartMedia’s Bob Pittman, Barry Diller and Eric Schmidt, among others.
“I’m an investor because I believe in the experience,” Zaslav told The Post. “It was a niche that didn’t exist in short distance aviation. I’m excited to be the largest investor and to be a cheerleader.”
Blade’s valuation, after the latest funding round, is around $75 million, a source familiar with the company finances said.
Revenue is expected to grow to $12 million to $15 million by the end of the summer season, the sources said.
Rides from the Big Apple to Long Island’s East End summer playground run from $600 to $700.
Blade is run by Chief Executive Rob Wiesenthal, a former chief financial officer of Sony Corporation.
The company launched service between Nantucket, Boston and Hyannis in May thanks to a new partnership with Uber Boston.