Uber, Lyft, and other personal-taxi services have exploded in popularity, but for those seeking a more-exclusive option, there is an answer. Created by a team of Ukrainians in San Francisco, JetMe aims to cater to those who wish to travel by private jet, but who do not want to splurge and buy their own plane.
At the moment, the service allows users to download the iOS and order a seat on a private jet travelling between San Francisco and Los Angeles. One of the interesting aspects of this service is that, rather than establish a rigid pricing model, they have opted to allow users to name their own price. COO Dmitry Romanyukha tells me that the process begins when a user submits their flight request (departure and destination locations), dates, and their requested price. Then, the request is passed along to various flight services that partner with JetMe, who would ostensibly accept the offer.
To date, Romanyukha tells me that their app has been downloaded more than 4,600 times and that they current claim just over 3,200 registered users. By the end of the year, they are planning to roll out a web version of the service.
Though limited to one route at the moment, Romanyukha tells me that they are already thinking about their broader plans. From February through July of this year, they conducted private beta testing in Europe and Russia and he says that are planning to rollout across the United States and “strategically” in southeast Asia in 2015. The company just recently announced that they have picked up $400K in seed funding from Imperious Group and several private angels, which should aid the startup with their global expansion plans.
One of their main competitors, in a sense, is the California-based startup Surf Air, which launched back in 2011 and is backed by tens of millions of dollars. Though they offer a private jet service, Surf Air currently operates solely in the California market and offers only a few routes at that.