Yugo Private Aviation, a Singapore-based air mobility startup, has successfully raised $300,000 in its pre-Seed round funding to further develop its mobile and online applications.

The funding was raised from angel investors based in Texas (United States), Seoul (South Korea), Paris (France), and three Family Offices including Bellone Invest (Estonia), Negocia Capital (Singapore) and LCH Investment (Cambodia), Yugo said in a statement.

“Being digital is core to Yugo, adding that the goal is to digitize segments of the private aviation industry such as private jet and helicopter bookings,” said Jim Baldy, Chief Executive Officer of Yugo.

According to him, Yugo successfully organized flights in Asia and in Europe and is now looking to raise a seed fundraising to increase digitalization.

More importantly, he said, the startup wants to make the pre-and after booking experience as convenient as possible for its customers.

“We are happy with the partnerships we developed with hospitality and tourism companies, despite the challenging constraints posed by the pandemic. Our customers have been able to access special rates, benefits and upgrades. Since the start of our platform beta testing earlier this year, we have successfully arranged flights from and to Hong Kong, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand and we aim to actively contribute to the reopening of borders in most of the Asian countries to tourism and business,” Baldy said.

Baldy commented that the process of fundraising had been very helpful to the company, enabling investors to provide interesting feedback for improvement.

“While investors have been analyzing the mission of Yugo thoroughly, they have considered the company’s overall value proposition as well,” he added.

He also noted, investors are increasingly applying non-financial factors such as Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities.

“Yugo is closely entwined with ESG, keeping its selected SDG focus and develops a marketplace that enables more customers to use an optimized fleet utilization, thus contributing to reducing carbon emissions,” he said.

He also said, Yugo is striving to offer carbon-neutral solutions and find new initiatives such as partnerships with innovative Electric Vertical Take-Off Landing Vehicles, to achieve positive climate action, resulting in a more sustainable and resilient future.

The startup is also building the infrastructure for the future of air mobility.

“The eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-Off), also called ‘flying taxis’ will be coming in the next five years and countries in Southeast Asia like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, or Myanmar need to be prepared,” Baldy said.

Yugo is a private aviation digital startup enabling aviation companies to optimize their fleet inventory of private jets and helicopters by connecting members with the most suitable aircraft for travel needs. Established in early 2020, the platform regionally operates its on-demand proprietary digital booking system across Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Its technical development team is based between Asia (Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Manila) and Europe (France). They have successfully released a web platform that was useful for the testing phase.

The company offers all-in exclusive package deals including private flights, stay-ins, memorable activities, and in-flight customization, thus providing travelers with a unique door-to-door experience.

According to the statement, Yugo’s current international routes include for instance Kuala Lumpur to Dubai while other popular routes are Jakarta to Dubai, Manila to Melbourne, or Phnom Penh to Bangkok, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.

Yugo has also sealed partnerships with Fintech payment solutions to keep growing its digital payment ecosystem.

It said the preferred method of payments in Southeast Asia is rapidly transitioning from cash to digital-based payments, leapfrogging credit and debit card payments still popular in developed nations.

It aims to increase connectivity, safety, and privacy of passengers in Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific.

Meanwhile, despite the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacting tourism and hospitality sectors–one of the region’s economic pillars–Yugo has reported a 50 percent increase in demand since March. The constant customer focus of the young team has enabled the startup to reach a 300 percent sales increase by September. Thus, the startup is now preparing for busy year-end activities.

While the recent gross domestic product growth downgrade in most of the ASEAN countries, Yugo said, the region’s business community remains “bullish” on the regional economies, underpinned by their ultra-fast vaccination drive and multiple bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to be implemented next year.

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