An investor syndicate organized by Platform Partners, LLC (“Platform”), Tiger Infrastructure Partners, and Meritage Funds announced on October 23rd their investment in SmartSky Networks LLC (“SmartSky” or the “Company”).
Established in 2011, SmartSky is creating the first 4G-LTE based, Air-to-Ground communications network in the U.S. to provide next generation in-flight (or Wi-Fi) connectivity to the aviation industry. The Company intends to use the proceeds from this growth equity financing to conduct an end-to-end system demonstration on a multi-site network, and commence network deployment activities prior to the rollout of nationwide commercial service beginning in 2016.
“We are delighted to partner with Platform at this important stage in SmartSky’s evolution as a company,” said Haynes Griffin, Chairman and CEO of SmartSky. “Platform’s track record of growing communications infrastructure businesses is impressive, and we look forward to gaining their perspective as we build our cutting-edge network.”
“SmartSky will provide critical communication services to the aviation industry,” added Fred Lummis, Chairman of Platform. “We are pleased to partner with Haynes and the Company’s leadership team who have a proven ability to build companies that develop solutions for their customers. It is exciting to be involved in the buildout of a major communications infrastructure project that can significantly improve the Wi-Fi experience for both commercial and private plane travelers.”
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal counsel to the investor syndicate.
About SmartSky Networks LLC
SmartSky Networks, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., was formed in 2011 and is comprised of senior aviation and telecommunications executives seeking to leverage disruptive communications technologies to transform aviation. In conjunction with leading aerospace and technology partners, SmartSky plans to beta-launch its innovative Air-To-Ground network, SmartSky 4G, in late 2015 followed by the rollout of nationwide commercial service in 2016. For more information, visit www.smartskynetworks.com.
About Platform Partners, LLC
Platform Partners is a private holding company based in Houston that makes investments in middle-market companies with the intent of growing these businesses into industry leaders through a combination of organic and acquisition growth. For more information, please visit http://www.platformllc.com.