FOR DELIVERING FIRST-CLASS ENTERTAINMENT TO THE COACH-BOUND MASSES
Every time someone on Twitter brags, “I’m on a plane!” a Gogo engineer’s ears pop. The Illinois startup commands the market for in-flight Wi-Fi: It now serves more than 1,300 commercial flights and controls 85% of Wi-Fi-equipped planes. In the first nine months of 2011, Gogo reported $113.8 million in revenue, and the company is now taxiing to a 2012 IPO. It will use the funds to upgrade its network and in-flight platforms.
In lieu of drop-down screens with shoddy reception, Gogo’s platform-now on some 600 Delta and American planes-lets travelers rent from a library of more than 200 TV shows ($0.99 each) and movies ($3.99).
Gogo’s link-up with Electronic Arts will let fliers have access to Pogo, its casual-gaming site whose hits include Plants vs. Zombies, Monopoly, and Bejeweled.
Gogo is building a roster of retail partners such as Zappos and Gilt Groupe, and offering exclusive in-air deals.
Beyond basics such as destination weather and arrival time, Gogo offers access to OpenTable and StubHub, so passengers can plan activities for when they land.
By Dan Macsai
Photograph by Flickr user Thomas Hawk