SmartSky Networks

SmartSky Networks (“SmartSky”) built the first 4G air-to-ground (“ATG”) communications network in the U.S. to provide high speed Wi-Fi capability to the aviation industry.
Business Services
Investment Date
Charlotte, NC

Investment Overview

SmartSky was founded by a group of experienced aviation and telecommunications executives who were frustrated with the existing in-flight connectivity (“IFC”) solutions in the market. Using their joint expertise and industry knowledge, these executives are tailoring a solution to build a low-cost, high-capacity, next generation IFC service. SmartSky’s innovative technology will enable the company to be a first mover in the 2.4 GHz spectrum and will pave the way for a faster, more cost-effective IFC solution.

Transaction Background

Haynes Griffin, Chairman of SmartSky, first approached Platform in 2013 to solicit our interest in participating in an investment in the company. Mr. Griffin is a personal friend of Platform and a highly successful entrepreneur in the communications industry. Given Platform’s relevant investments in Landmark Aviation and American Tower, Mr. Griffin felt we may be interested in participating in the investment.


SmartSky arranged a first-class group of investors to participate in the financing, including Meritage Funds (“Meritage”) and Tiger Infrastructure Partners (“Tiger”). Meritage is a Denver-based growth equity investment firm led by Jack Tankersley that focuses on technology-enabled services, and Tiger is a private equity firm focused on infrastructure assets with anchor investments from Tiger Management LLC (Julian Robertson) and members of the Ziff family.