When Blade blew onto the scene Memorial Day of 2014, well-to-do New Yorkers Instagrammed their inaugural helicopter rides from Manhattan to the Hamptons. They hopped to the beach on seats costing between $US395 to $US1250.
Blade’s launch was met with excitement, jealousy, and derision in the press, but the company has big plans for growth in the US and abroad. That’s what landed Blade on our Silicon Alley 100 list this year, at number 60.
Founders Rob Wiesenthal and Steve Martocci started Blade as a side project. Martocci still works part time at the firm, but Wiesenthal–a former music industry executive–quickly signed on as full time CEO when the company got serious. It’s now valued at $US25 million and counts high profile personal investments from Google’s Eric Schmidt and iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman, both helicopter pilots.