Volato, an executive jet startup, is going public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
In order to be listed on the New York stock market, Volato is entering into a business combination with a listed entity called PROOF Acquisition Corp I (NYSE: PACI).
The pro forma enterprise value of the combined entity is estimated at $261.1 million. After the listing it will trade under the ticker SOAR and use the Volato brand.
Volato was launched in 2021 by Matt Liotta, a tech entrepreneur who spotted a market opportunity within the provision of executive aviation services with small aircraft.
The firm offers a fractional ownership plan, through which customers can buy shares in aircraft, from 1/16 to 100% of the total price. Users then pay an annual management fee and a rate based on usage. Volato also offers fractional jet owners the chance to earn revenue when the aircraft they co-own are rented out to other users.
When explaining the decision to launch a business that focuses on Honda Jet operations, Liotta told AeroTime: “We looked at this space and realized that most executive aviation trips in the US involve less than four people and journeys that are less than two hours long.”
The HA-420 HondaJet is a light business jet with capacity for up to seven passengers and a 1,600-mile range. Its catalogue unit price is in the $5-6 million range.
Volato operates 18 Honda Jets and has another 23 on order. This type of aircraft is expected to remain the backbone of the fleet, although the firm has also ordered Gulfstream G280 aircraft for some missions requiring a larger jet.
In 2022, its first full year of trading, Volato posted $96 million in revenue.
In parallel to the listing, Volato has closed a $48 million series A Series A preferred equity round, of which $10 million is fresh funds injected into the company and the remaining 38 million is previously issued convertible notes that have been converted into equity.
After the business combination, the current Volato owners will retain approximately 63.5% of equity.
In response to AeroTime’s questions about the company’s resulting capital structure, Liotta affirmed: “We are not taking any money off the table.”