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AirGo Design closes its first external investment round to accelerate growth

Singapore, Dubai –  April 21st 2016 – AirGo Design Pte Ltd, the Singapore based startup working on next-generation airline seats, today announced its first external financing round, led by Dubai based DP World and Turn8.
 
With this funding, we are able to further accelerate our product development and go-to-market activities said Mikko Alanko, CEO & Co-Founder of AirGo Design.
 
TURN8’s Program Manager, Ahmed Abdulwahab said “We at TURN8 are really excited to work with AirGo Design’s innovative design and ground breaking technologies in an industry which we all regularly use, but which has seen very little real innovations in the past. With TURN8’s experience and network especially in the Middle East region, we are confident that together we make AirGo a great success here”
 
About AirGo Design Pte Ltd
AirGo is a Singapore based startup founded in 2013 with the aim of developing the next generation of airline economy seats. AirGo seats have been called the future of air travel by USA Today, NBC News, The Economist, ABC News, Daily Mail, etc. AirGo work on new design and composite materials technologies that can make the seats lighter and more comfortable. Recent estimates indicate a potential 50% reduction in weight as well as more living space for the passengers (e.g. 4″ extra legroom and ~12% wider seats for the same floor space). 
 
About TURN8
TURN8 is an Accelerator in Dubai UAE, initiated in partnership with DP World in 2013 to invest in technology startups and support them with mentoring, training and their product launch in exchange for an equity position in the company. As part of its larger mission, TURN8 and DP World work to integrate these startups into the global innovation ecosystem and startup economy of the UAE.
 
About DP World
Their dedicated team of over 37,000 employees from 110 countries cultivates long standing relationships with governments, shipping lines, importers and exporters, communities, and many other important constituents of the global supply chain, to add value and provide quality services today and tomorrow. Container handling is the company’s core business and generates more than three quarters of its revenue. In 2015, DP World handled 61.7 million TEU (twenty- foot equivalent units) across our portfolio. With its committed pipeline of developments and expansions, the current gross capacity of 79.6 million TEU is expected to rise to more than 100 million TEU by 2020, in line with market demand. DP World is a leading enabler of global trade and an integral part of the supply chain. They operate multiple yet related businesses from marine and inland terminals, maritime services, logistics and ancillary services to technology driven trade solutions. They have a portfolio of 77 operating marine and inland terminals supported by over 50 related businesses in 40 countries across six continents with a significant presence in both high growth and mature markets. They aim to be essential to the bright future of global trade, ensuring everything we do has a long lasting positive impact on economies and society

AirGo among top 10 global startups at Boeing’s Aerospace Innovation Hub

AirGo Design, a Singaporean startup working on next-generation airline seats, was recently selected to be among the top 10 startups globally to participate in Los Angeles Innovation Week 2015. The “aerospace innovation hub” event organized by Starburst Accelerator and hosted by Boeing was an exclusive session during which startups showcased their latest technologies to more than 70 juries from NASA, FAA, GE Aviation, Northrop, Lockheed, Dassault, Virgin Galactic, DFJ, Qualcomm ventures ane many others. AirGo’s presentation by aviation veteran, Jere Tala and serial entrepreneur Henri Holm was received with praise and the organizer’s official Twitter shortly after wrote “AirGo, you have made economy class look incredible”.

Jere Tala (left) and Henri Holm of AirGo present at Starburst’s Aerospace Innovation Hub hosted by Boeing.

The good news for AirGo follows a recent success in securing  the much coveted proof of value (POV) grant from SPRING Singapore after months of intensive assessments. The prestigious grant, only awarded to a handful of startups this year, will help AirGo to accelerate the development of its next-generation economy seat “Omega” that has been praised as “the future of airline seating” by major news outlets such as ABC News, The Economist and Daily Mail among others. AirGo’s new seat, to be unveiled next year in Singapore, utilizes groundbreaking ultralight composite technologies that save airlines millions of dollars annually in terms of fuel consumption and carbon tax. The seats are also more comfortable, offering a whole new ergonomic design with improved cushions, wider seats and up to 4″ more legroom for the same floor space. That puts AirGo among few hardware and perhaps fewer aerospace startups in the Singapore startup scene that are set to compete against multi-billion dollar giants like the French Zodiac Aerospace or the American B/E Aerospace.

“Here in Asia, Toyota and ST Aerospace have also launched their own seat business recently and to us that is a clear indication of how promising the market actually is. Thanks to the Singaporean startup ecosystem, we are now able to take this trend even further. We tackle big challenges that large companies with dominant market shares have no incentive to take up.” said Alireza Yaghoubi, AirGo’s inventor and Chief Technology Officer. Jere Tala, AirGo’s Chief Commercial Officer continued that “Airline interiors is an under-supplied industry with economy seat market alone amounting to more than USD 5.2 billion within the next 5 years. That and the lack of innovation for the past 60 years made us to embark on this journey.” Having won the second place at the prestigious Wall Street Journal’s D.Live Startup Showcase 2014 as well as the Red Herring Asia Top 100 awards, AirGo is among a small number of elite Singaporean startups that have received massive traction globally.