Financing led by Ingleside Investors with strategic investors International Airlines Group,
JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Qantas Ventures.
Volantio, a global leader in post-booking revenue and capacity optimization software for airlines, announced a $2.6 million funding round led by Ingleside Investors and strategic investors International Airlines Group (IAG), JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Qantas Ventures.
Volantio is a startup in the Advanced Technology Development Center’s ATDC Signature portfolio of companies.
“We are extremely proud that the investment arms of three key global aviation leaders, spanning three distinct geographies, have chosen to back Volantio and its market leading technology” said Azim Barodawala, Volantio’s CEO.
YanaTM, Volantio’s flagship web-based platform, leverages machine learning algorithms to drive higher unit revenues and improved capacity utilization after customers have booked their flights, while also improving overall customer experience. Airlines use the technology to proactively identify flexible passengers on high demand flights, make them offers to move to lower demand flights, and automatically rebook them once they accept.
Passengers are notified, via mobile, days in advance of departure, minimizing last-minute hassle and providing enough time to change plans accordingly. Offers can include upgrades, travel vouchers, and frequent flier points.
“Our platform provides a rare triple-win,” said Barodawala. “Flexible passengers receive a benefit for changing their travel plans, last-minute travelers are able to access flights that otherwise would have been full, and airlines can better maximize network capacity and unit revenue, while putting greater predictability and control back in the hands of their customers.”
“Volantio’s data-driven platform has the ability to transform the travel experience for customers, while improving profitability for the industry,” said ITA Software co-founder Dave Baggett, who also participated in this round.
“At JetBlue Technology Ventures, we like to invest early in innovative solutions to travel industry challenges,” said Bonny Simi, president, JetBlue Technology Ventures. “We are impressed how much early traction Volantio has received for its approach to optimizing revenue and customer satisfaction through improved capacity utilization.”
IAG built a mutually beneficial relationship with Volantio through through its Hangar 51 global accelerator which enables startups to work with one of the world’s largest airline groups to trial their products at scale, said Glenn Morgan, IAG’s head of digital business transformation. “Volantio is led by a strong team that has decades of experience and we’re delighted to be partnering with this innovative start-up as we further our commitment to transform the passenger journey and the future of travel.”
Added Rob Marcolina, Qantas’ group executive of strategy, innovation, and technology: “The travel industry and customer needs continue to evolve and investments in innovations like Volantio are important to ensure we keep exploring ideas, disrupting the status quo and discovering new ways of working to deliver better outcomes for our business and our customers. As a participant in Qantas Ventures’ first AVRO Accelerator program, Volantio is a great example of the impact that investment in scale-ups can make.
Barodawala also highlighted the operational benefits of the YanaTM platform, which provides a significantly improved customer experience for passengers on the day of departure.
“There are a number of reasons why an airline might need to recover extra seats very close to departure,” Barodawala said, citing weather disruptions, aircraft swaps, and irregular operations as just a few. “Directly connecting the airline with flexible customers via mobile and giving passengers the ability to pick an alternative option for themselves — without waiting in line or staying on hold — is not just great for customers, it is also great for airlines.”
Volantio has launched both revenue and operations focused versions of YanaTM with Qantas, Iberia, Volaris, and Alaska Airlines, and it has a number of additional carriers in the pipeline.