Flight Schedule Pro — the maker of industry-leading cloud-based tech for flight schools, universities, and flying clubs — recently opened the hangar doors on $31 million in funding from an investor landing deals with fast-growing, bootstrapped software companies.
Financial terms of the investment from Mainsail Partners, a growth equity firm that boasts offices in Austin and San Francisco, were not disclosed. The firm has raised more than $1.3 billion and invested in more than 50 growing companies since 2003.
Flight Schedule Pro plans to use the investment to accelerate its product roadmap, invest in its team, and expand its customer service capabilities, its co-founders said.
“Our leadership and mission remains intact and focused on the flight training industry,” said Jasen Barnes, CEO and co-founder of Overland Park-based Flight Schedule Pro. “As we improve the Flight Schedule Pro platform and introduce new features and integrations, it’s all about listening to our customers and being helpful! With this new injection of capital we will expand our product development and support teams to serve our customers better. I hope this new season of Flight Schedule Pro will be innovative and impactful, in a meaningful way.”
Click here to read a blog post from Barnes discussing the investment.
A leading provider of cloud-based software to aviation constituents, Flight Schedule Pro was founded by Nick Wegner, CTO, and Barnes, now a serial tech entrepreneur and builder of lean startups, in 2000 while at the University of Kansas, inspired by firsthand experience with inefficient aviation training processes, they said.
“From the very beginning, Flight Schedule Pro has been a relentless, grassroots effort from a very small group of people,” the company’s website reads. “More recently, the journey has become about building a great team. God’s blessing has rained down and we’ve been fortunate to gather an amazing team of people who are excited to make an impact, each in their own special way.
Click here to explore careers at Flight Schedule Pro.
Today, the company has grown into a full suite of business management and flight training solutions that enable flight schools, flying clubs, aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) departments, and pilots to improve efficiency in flight scheduling, billing, payments, training, fleet maintenance and day-to-day reporting.
“We are excited to be partnering with the team at Flight Schedule Pro,” said Jason Frankel, partner at Mainsail. “We believe they have an innovative software product that serves an industry that is underserved by technology solutions, and they’ve shown a dedication to continually improving the product and enabling their customers, student pilots, and certified instructors to grow and achieve their goals.”
By leveraging Flight Schedule Pro, customers can reduce administrative complexities, increase aircraft and instructor utilization, and decrease unbilled flight time, the Kansas company said. Its software platform is used by more than 1,000 operators that collectively maintain and utilize nearly 10,000 aircraft used by more than 150,000 student pilots and certified instructors.
Both founders believe they are entering a critical time in the company’s history, as the industry is experiencing a large and growing pilot shortage that is increasing demand for flight training. In its Pilot and Technician Outlook 2021-2040 report, Boeing expects the industry will need 612,000 pilots to replace the existing pilots in the industry over the next 20 years.
Because of that shortage, there’s been an increasing demand for flight training and safety, Wegner said.
“Alongside our customers, we believe we are in a unique position to provide a solution to the pilot shortage,” he said. “We care about people and — through aviation safety and quality training — we want to empower our customers and students to achieve their aviation dreams.”
“Creating Flight Schedule Pro has been the challenge of a lifetime,” Barnes added. “We searched for a partner who would complement our skillset and help accelerate our growth, and Mainsail stood above the pack. They have an amazing team who believes in our vision for the future.”
Gavin Turner, managing partner of Mainsail will join Frankel, Barnes and Wegner on the company’s board of directors as part of the deal. In addition, Paul Bridgewater, a multi-time software CEO, and current CEO of ResMan will join the board as executive chairman.
Click here to learn more about Mainsail Partners.