It's time for BlackJet, the celebrity backed on-demand private jet service, to empty out the seatback pockets because it's all but dead. The startup has reportedly laid off much of its staff after a recent batch of funding failed to materialize, reports Boston.com.
Even with a team of backers that could fill out an illuminati yearbook (Will Smith, Jay-Z, and Ashton Kutcher just to name a few), it couldn't figure out how to make the financials work. Apparently people aren't clamoring to pay ~$4,000 a seat on a small jet that only serves a handful of cities. Oh, and that's in addition to a $2,500 yearly membership fee.
Valleywag notes that the company has been "fucked" for a while. It’s not a good sign when one of Blackjet’s cofounders and a former Uber head honcho, Garrett Camp, has already deleted any mention of the company from his LinkedIn. That's in addition to a recent string of high-profile departures from the Florida-based company.
And judging by the comments from a former employee, eating crushed peanuts mashed in the carpet of an old Delta jet sounds like a more desirable situation:
"We were losing $200,000 a week," the ex-Blackjetter told Boston.com. Most of BlackJet's employees were laid off in September, this person said, after "the investors weren't willing to put in more money."
BlackJet CEO Dean Rotchin confirmed that its on-demand service isn't working out in its favor, but the private charter side continues to operate. He's working on garnering fresh funding to get it back in the skies.
At least there's a new Shake Shack at JFK to drown your sorrows, you guys!
- Ashton Kutcher