As our biggest year yet draws to a close, Victor founder and CEO Clive Jackson takes a moment to reflect and then looks ahead to 2016
We started 2015 by launching the Victor app, which upended the marketplace and created a huge amount of media coverage. At least 50% of all Victor bookings are now made using the app, on flights ranging from £5k to £150k across all manner of aircraft. Both the business community and Ultra-High Net Worth individual have embraced the power of the on-demand economy.
We expanded into the US market in a big way too, acquiring California-based YoungJets, and became the only aviation brand to make the prestigious Sunday Times Tech Track 100 – coming in at number 15. The list celebrates the UK’s fastest-growing, most innovative private tech companies, making it a real honour to rank so highly in our first year of inclusion.
2015 also saw Victor successfully close a further round of investor funding, to the tune of £8.6m ($13m). Our proposition – to make private jet charter easier and faster than ever before – continues to attract a lot of attention as our growth, and the evolution of our service for customers, shows no signs of slowing.
Right now the funding market for tech companies is oversaturated and in dire need of consolidation, which is where Victor comes in. Unlike other tech brands currently seeking funding, we can provide potential future investors with a clear business model – one that shows that we really have reset the marketplace by doing away withbedroom/basement brokers and offering total transparency.
This is about transparency not only in what we offer the customer but also in how we do business. As our sector begins to consolidate and the boils down to the genuinely key players, both customers and investors will find it easier to make an informed decision about which services to use and support. The ‘instant charter pricing’ model is undermined when operators are willing to be negotiated down by brokers, who will often lower the price further or switch to a different provider and then pocket the difference with the customer none the wiser.
This is why our full disclosure of booking information, including operator and tail number, is so important. Such game-changing clarity in an opaque, antiquated market ensures we stand out from the crowd, develop the strongest relationships with our customers and truly grow our service for them.
In the last month Victor has signed an exclusive partnership with Etihad Airways, which sees us become the airline’s preferred choice to seamlessly connect commercial flights (its exclusive The Residence and First Apartment cabins on the airline’s premier Airbus A380 fleet) with private jet travel. Known for reimagining the way people fly, Etihad was the perfect fit with Victor – and reinforces how we are continuing to punch above our weight with a combination of innovative technology and peerless customer service.
It’s been a huge year here at Victor and I’d personally like to thank everyone involved who has come along with us for the journey – members, colleagues, partners. Looking ahead our industry is on the cusp of change and we will be looking at new fundraising opportunities to accelerate our growth and ensure we keep spearheading that change. For us at Victor, it’s about a deep understanding of what customers want, a dynamic and sustainable way of working for the long-term and protecting a unique place in the industry. I’m more than happy to show prospective investors the detail behind Victor’s success and its cut-through in a currently crowded space. Total transparency, just like the service itself.
In the meantime, I’d sincerely like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Thank you for your support and here’s to an ever bigger 2016.
Read more about Victor’s 2015 highlights on CNN.
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