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Google exec invests in Uber-type app for helicopters

Google’s chairman is among several tech and media executives investing in an Uber-style app that provides helicopter services for New Yorkers.

Blade launched a year ago and flies users to destinations such as the Hamptons, Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard, as well as local airports. A single trip starts around $575.

Eric Schmidt, alongside Barry Diller and David Zaslavs has invested $6 million in the company, which was started with just $50,000. The latest investment values the company at $25 million.

A trip to the Hamptons, which would normally take several hours, takes 45 minutes with the helicopter service. Blade says its airport service, which flies travellers between their homes and New York City airports, can transport people to their destination in five minutes, compared to a 45-minute drive.

Last summer, the company made 800 trips between New York City and the Hamptons over a 16-week period, according to Business Insider.

Uber, which has attracted ire and admiration for its disruption of the taxi industry, has its own chopper service, but it centres around events, such as the Cannes Film Festival or US Independence Day celebrations.

Other apps, such as BlackJet and PrivateFly, offer private jet services.

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