PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--airfree, the French startup that created the first inflight duty-free product marketplace, received support from its first round business angels, Shiseido, and the Starburst accelerator, for a total amount of €2.3 million. airfree has just taken a new step towards marketing its solution to airlines companies, with the validation of a technical Proof of Concept, in partnership with Singapore Airlines' Krislab program.
airfree has developed an e/m-commerce platform, which deeply transforms the experience of selling products inflight thanks to digital technology. By making airport’s product & services available up in the air, the global offer is dedicated to boost the sales of airport duty-free retailers, increase airline revenues with an end-to-end solution by reducing satellite connectivity related costs, with a simple and optimized user experience for passengers.
- For airlines companies, airfree is an all-in-one solution (white label) that will allow their investments in connectivity equipment to be profitable, as well as offering a premium service to the passengers: a digital catalog more than 10,000 references.
- Duty-free retailers receive additional revenue from a targeted and qualified audience for an extended period of time (during the whole flight).
Passengers enjoy a premium experience during flight time that gives
access to all available products in duty-free shops, in transit or at
the airport of arrival, on a click & collect model.
“This fundraising is a new step in our development: we plan to drive a pilot in real condition and accelerate our commercial launch at the end of 2019, explains Etienne de Verdelhan, co-founder & CEO of airfree. We are proud to welcome Shiseido, a key player in travel retail innovation, Starburst, which welcomed us in their acceleration program since the end of 2018, and our business angels, who have renewed their confidence since 2017”.
Towards commercial launch
During the first half of 2019, airfree was selected to participate in the Singapore Airlines' Accelerator Program - a selective program (only 5 startups chosen) dedicated to new solutions that digitalise Singapore Airlines's business operations. In partnership with Inflight Connectivity Suppliers, airfree conducted technical tests (POC) which showed that the airfree platform uses on average 50 times less satellite bandwidth than with a traditional e-commerce website. This performance is made possible by downloading data before takeoff, and thus using a limited online connection onboard (during the checkout process). For airlines, it means controlled bandwidth costs, and for passengers a premium experience with a quality connection & fast browsing.
About airfree, Marketplace of the Sky :
Created in 2016 by three co-founders specialized respectively in duty-free commerce, technology, digital and e-commerce. The team now consists of about ten people, including a team of developers. Their goal is to become the world's leading airline marketplace. www.airfree.aero