Interview with Eugene Kesselman, Tapjets

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I met Eugene while attending the Next Block Asia 2.0 conference in Bangkok back in December 2019. He held a very convincing speech, and that triggered The Energy Bit to find out more about him and his adventures.

Tapjets is a mobile application that offers private jet services to its clients. The application enables its users to obtain jet transportation services based on arrival date, passengers, and destination. In addition, it offers flight auctioning and booking services to its users. Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the read!

Eugene Kesselman, Founder & CEO, Tapjets

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you ended up at TapJets?

I have been in technology and enterprise software space for almost 20 years. When a friend came up with an opportunity to challenge the most complex logistics issue of moving private jets across the world in the most efficient manner, I had two questions:  1. Why has no one done this before? And 2. When do we start?

You’ve been on the market since 2015. If you were looking at a roadmap, how far along could you say that you have come so far?

Currently, TapJets offers three products that are designed for jet travelers, brokers, and jet operators. We have the most extensive virtual connected fleet and are the only company in the world that can instantly book a private jet charter. But the honest answer is that our roadmap in 2015 has not even considered the turns and pivots that we have made to be the leader in the instant booking. We are in unchartered territory and are enjoying it every day.

What are the next steps for TapJets?

The next big thing is JetShare. Because friends don’t let friends fly economy class, this is a huge undertaking, and it took lessons learned from JetSmarter, WheelsUp, and dozens of other attempts to get this done right.   If you think of every private jet club or shared program as, then JetShare that we are about to launch is the Facebook version.

As CEO and Chairman of the World’s first private jet hailing app, I am responsible for helping our team by providing them with a vision and direction that ensures that we continue to disrupt the industry that is long overdue for a major overhaul.

Eugene Kesselman

How big is this market anyway? Where do you see your position in it? 

Just in the USA, there are over 1.2 million private jet flights.  We are just chipping away at the first 1 percent of market share. However, with JetShare, we expect this to drastically and rapidly change in the next 12 months.  We are aiming for a 10 percent market share, which is a very conservative estimate of our capabilities.

Are there any competitors yet? Is there space for more players?

We respect our competition, although it appears that most of them have joined the operator’s ranks. PrivateFly, Charterpad, Jetsmarter all got acquired in the last 18 months.  It feels lonely to be the disruptor, but I am sure someone is in the wings working on the next best thing.  At present, we are enjoying the leadership position and ability to be neutral when selecting the best private jet options for our clients.

Can you tell us about the usefulness of your app?

There is no more straightforward and more efficient way to book a private jet without using TapJets technology.  You always know that you will get the safest and best possible option at the best price, instantly without waiting for quotes or any back and forth.

How much time and money can the involved parties save via your services?

Our clients save from 2 to 4 hours in not having to go back and forth to secure a private jet of their liking.  They also save about 10-15% of what a traditional private jet broker will charge for the same flight.  Time saved is in addition to time savings involved in traveling by a private jet.

How many clients are connected to your platform as of today?

We have over 20,000 active clients and a total of 85,000 registrations.

What about data, AI, and blockchain? How does TapJets utilize these technologies?

We extensively use Ai both in aircraft positioning and pricing models, as well as in route management. We leverage blockchain to ensure transactional integrity and aircraft and operator safety audits. Finally, we pioneered instant payment by cryptocurrency in the private aviation segment and enjoyed the large market share of these bookings.

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