Singapore and Bengaluru-based air retailing and payments platform Mystifly has raised $3.3 Mn in Pre-Series B funding round from its existing investor Recruit Holdings to strengthen its airfare distribution product and technology, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic has left the aviation industry in a fix.
Mystifly believes that the latest fundraise is significant with the global aviation industry going through its toughest times. The company plans to use this to develop its data science, machine learning capabilities and address the inefficiencies in the payments systems of the airlines.
Founder and CEO Rajeev Kumar added, “The era of airline retailing and efficient payments has begun and the current crisis has made this transition faster than what was anticipated earlier. Airlines will significantly improve their bottom-line by saving on payment costs and becoming new age retailers as they can make more relevant offers, including services with higher margins than just the flight seat price. There is no doubt that Retail Airlines will be the new talk of the town in the coming months, just as how Low Cost Carriers were about 10-15 years back.”
Prior to this, Mystify has raised $5 Mn in Series A round from Japanese private equity firm Recruit Holdings in 2016 in order to attain profitability. In its recent press release, the company has announced that it did report profits in the 11 months of its operations in financial year 2020, ending March, until the Covid-19 pandemic took down the aviation industry in March onwards with global travel restrictions.
Founded in 2009 by Kumar, Mystifly is an all-in-one B2B application programming interface (API) integration for airfare distribution, fulfillment and payment services for new age ecommerce and travel intermediaries. The company’s offering includes flight search, retail booking and fulfillment, payments API platform along with other airline connectivity and tools.
The company has a total team of 140 people, and is headquartered in Singapore. Its clientele includes online travel agencies (OTA), global loyalty programmes, travel management companies and meta search engines.
Last month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its financial outlook for the global aviation industry, projecting a loss of over $84.3 Bn in 2020 with a net profit margin of -20.1%. Revenues are expected to fall 50% to $419 Bn from $838 Bn in 2019, and only a minor bump to $598 Bn in 2021.
“Financially, 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation. On average, every day of this year will add $230 million to industry losses. In total that’s a loss of $84.3 billion. It means that—based on an estimate of 2.2 billion passengers this year—airlines will lose $37.54 per passenger. That’s why government financial relief was and remains crucial as airlines burn through cash,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.