Business Technology

Spontaneous premium flight upgrades made available with live bidding platform Seatfrog

2 min read

02 June 2016

Former deputy editor

Tech startup Seatfrog has secured a AU$1.2m seed round to support the launch of a new live bidding platform, which will allow travellers to compete for last-minute flight upgrades ahead of takeoff – ideal for those with a love of business class.

Although based in Sydney, the Australian company will launch with global support when the service goes live later this year.

Recognising the potential, London VC firm Howzat Partners, which was responsible for backing Trivago ahead of an Expedia sale, has pumped the capital into Seatfrog.

In a similar that HotelTonight allows hotels to list unsold stock on its app at the last minute, Seatfrog will unlock revenue for airlines by listing unsold premium seats for auction – right until the departure time.

“Every year, millions of premium class seats fly empty across the globe, representing billions of dollars in unrealised revenue opportunity,” Iain Griffin, CEO and co-founder of Seatfrog said.

“For airlines, ancillaries are currently estimated to be worth around US$60 billion. Seatfrog’s technology dramatically broadens the scope of this market opportunity by making upgrades seamless for passengers and maximising efficiency and profit for airlines.”

Read more on travelling the Business Class way:

Running as a mobile-only service, updated boarding passes will be sent directly to customers’ phones for scanning at departure. Integration with booking systems of airlines means straightforward set-up.

Former Qantas CEO Simon Hickey has been appointed a company advisor to help the business’ growth, while the capital will be spent to grow the team in areas of data science and development. He called the mobile experience “exceptional”.

David Soskin, co-founder and partner at Howzat, added: “Without question, Seatfrog is the platform that the industry has been waiting for to improve the upgrade experience. The industry is positively ripe for disruption, and this represents a significant opportunity.”

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