As an example of our disruptive philosophy, let's look at one of our portfolio companies.
Flyte is an app that matches last-minute fliers with deeply discounted, unsold airline seats. The concept is a win-win for business travelers, the adventure seeking leisure traveler and the airlines themselves.
Flyte will negotiate with the airlines to have unsold seat inventory released at prescribed time before takeoff. Users of the app will be able to search multiple parameters, including departure city/airport, destination and price. These tickets will be deeply discounted, non-refundable (except when flights are canceled) and only available for brief window.
Once a ticket is purchased, the user will then be given the opportunity to purchase a return trip at a more typical rate. The user doesn't have to buy the return unless it's required by their country of destination- they may choose instead to roll the dice and see if they can get Flyte tickets home when they wish to leave.
There are two primary markets that are apparent. The first is the last-minute traveler, who either for business or emergency needs to get somewhere inexpensively on short notice. This app would be a godsend in those circumstances, because it has the potential to offer considerable savings over current fares.
The second group of users will be the adventure traveler. One assumes they will be from the generation that has so enthusiastically embraced Uber, Lyft and AirBnB. It is easy to imagine a small group gathering at the airport for the pure fun of wondering where they'll end up for the weekend. They'll set the search parameters for their general destination and wait for the offer alerts to come in.
Advantage for Airlines:
In 2017 the average load factor for passenger airlines in the United States was 83.5%. On any given flight, that means 16.5% of what would essentially be pure profit is left on the table. If Flyte were able to fill even 2% of that unused inventory, the airlines would reap billions in additional revenue.
Although the rates would be steeply discounted, the opportunity to sell return flights for more typical fares would also be an incentive to participate.
This app is ideally suited for the marketing environment of the 21st century. The opportunities to catalog the adventures of people using the app would hit at the heart of the Facebook and Instagram generation. The users of these social media platforms seem to thrive on presenting their life to the world as one big lark. (A lark to be envied by the little people they hope.) It would be a relatively simple matter to get these trendsetters to use the app as a way to enhance their lifestyle, and their loyal followers would be able to emulate them. Uber, Lyft and AirBnB have permeated popular culture, and Flyte will quickly join them from being in the same vein.