AeroCloud, a cloud-native airport management platform, raises $12.6M • TechCrunch

AeroCloud, a cloud-native airport management platform, raises $12.6M • TechCrunch

AeroCloud, a cloud-native airport management platform, raises $12.6M • TechCrunch

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AeroCloud, a cloud-native airport management software startup used by dozens of airports around the world, has raised $12.6 million in a Series A funding round.


Founded in Chester, UK, in 2019, AeroCloud says it already works with Manchester and Eindhoven airports in Europe, while in the US it counts Tampa International and John Wayne Airport among its customers. , handling some 150 million passengers each year in all areas.

At its core, AeroCloud promises all stakeholders access to data through the cloud, with features that support common airport use cases, such as automated gate assignment for flights and optimization reserve gate capacity to increase revenue.

The AeroCloud platform

The company also says it leverages machine learning intelligence to provide customers with forecasts using historical data, such as estimated passenger numbers for a specific time of year.

“By introducing AI and machine learning into our intelligent airport management system, we are enabling airport operations teams to plan less and act more,” explained AeroCloud co-founder and CEO George Richardson at TechCrunch. “Airports have a set of tasks that require varying degrees of human interaction on a daily basis. With AI, we can reduce this cognitive load on individuals and teams, and help free up time at an airport to focus on other priority challenges.

The AeroCloud platform also integrates key data such as the percentage of passengers currently on board a specific plane and the departure date, which helps it predict whether the plane is likely to depart on time. Additionally, it can automatically reassign gates to incoming aircraft if its scheduled arrival gate has a delayed aircraft still sitting there.

“These scenarios happen 100 times a day for our customers, and AI can always beat the human head toward a solution,” Richardson added.

At first glance, the airport management software market may seem like a vertical niche, but Richardson points to the data to highlight the potential for a new player in the space.

“You can see a niche in terms of the number of airports around the world, but the niche potential is significant – we see a market worth $20 billion,” Richardson said, citing figures obtained through analysis of competitors’ internal data. “For example, in the United States alone, there are 508 commercial service airports and over 3,500 non-commercial service airports. We have products suitable for most of these customers. However, that’s not even the exciting part – the really exciting part is that when we reach a critical mass of customers on our system, we will have created a network of airports to communicate and share valuable information with each other. .

native cloud

The airport management software space includes legacy incumbents such as Amadeus and SITA, but as with nearly all young upstarts looking to supplant the long-established status quo, AeroCloud touts its cloud-native credentials as a major selling point. for potential new customers. .

“Major airports currently rely on our competitors’ systems, originally built in the late 1980s,” Richardson said. “This software has barely changed since then – they are static and not in the cloud. As with many neglected and underserved industries, airports are extremely difficult environments to implement, with many layers of management and risk. perceived at the board level, which is why they still rely on old-school software.

The problem, according to Richardson, is that many on-premises legacy solutions don’t facilitate access to data, but instead promote data silos through local technology stacks. This is problematic in an airport environment that often needs to move quickly to support a number of fluid scenarios. With hijacked planes, for example, where a nearby plane needs a place to land quickly due to an emergency, this involves multiple actors from different departments covering gates, customs, passport control, baggage handlers and all the rest.

Getting everyone on the same page, with access to the same data and information, saves a lot of manual work.

“Previously this would have been done by the operations team calling around the airport and getting everyone on the line,” Richardson said. “Yet with AeroCloud, we know and notify all stakeholders as soon as the FAA marks the flight as an inbound hijacking. The platform can notify all teams of exactly what is happening and automatically remind them of the protocol. It’s not just powerful because it means everyone knows what’s going on, it’s powerful because now your ops team can focus on their job, instead of being the informant and running around after everyone to get ready.

If proof was needed that the public cloud is where it is in 2023, Amadeus, a $25 billion AeroCloud competitor, recently announced plans to move to the cloud as part of a three-year modernization.

Previously, AeroCloud had raised approximately $3.4 million, and with an additional $12.6 million in the bank, the company said it would use the new funding to accelerate its expansion plans and continue its efforts to ” move lethargic incumbents”. Specifically, AeroCloud is preparing to double its headcount to 80 through 2023 across its UK and US hubs, and aims to grow its customer base to over 100 – from 42 today – by the end of the year.

“We can mainly handle passenger aircraft now, but we believe the addition of booming cargo air traffic post Covid and the introduction of drones in the next 5-10 years will also benefit our network and this data,” Richardson said.

AeroCloud’s Series A was led by US venture capital firm Stage 2 Capital, with participation from Triple Point Ventures, I2BF Global Ventures, Praetura Ventures, Playfair Capital and Haatch.


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