Jay Z Invests in Uber for Private Jets


Rapper and businessman Jay Z has put his money in a mobile app that helps its users book on-demand private jets, though a service that is being billed as Uber for flying.

Sergey Petrossov, who told Business Insider Thursday he wanted to simplify the process of finding a quick flight, launched JetSmarter in 2012.

JetSmarter announced Thursday it had just closed on $20 million worth of investments, according to Business Insider, and high profile backers include Jay Z. along with members of the Saudi royal family, a number of anonymous entertainment moguls and executives from Goldman Sachs and Twitter.

“What was unique about this fund raise is that we didn’t have to go out and seek investors,” Petrossov told the site. “Our investors were already users.”

Petrossov‘s app makes it easy for users to book a flight on a private jet in seconds, and his company plans to use the money to expand routes, purchase more flights from carriers, and focus on growth in Asia and South America.

“I started the company out of a frustration with the process,” Petrossov told BI. “I kept thinking to myself, ‘Why hasn’t this service been brought into the digital world?'”

JetSmarter members pay roughly $800 a month for unlimited access to private flights.

Petrossov did not disclose how much money Jay Z put into the company, but the “99 Problems” rapper is known for taking risks.

Earlier this year, he launched Tidal, a for-pay music streaming service that was immediately described as a “disaster.”

TMZ reported a week ago Tidal is being sued by Cash Money records for $50 million for illegally streaming rapper Lil Wayne’s music.

In legal documents obtained by the site, the label claimed Jay Z’s fledgling company was resorting to “a desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service.”


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