Airfordable, launched by a group of Chicago-based Black entrepreneurs, allows users to create a payment plan when buying airline tickets. Users can secure a plane ticket with a deposit upfront, and pay the remaining balance in bi-weekly recurring payments before the departure date.
The founders – Ama Marfo, Craig Henry, and Emmanuel Buah – decided to collaborate after realizing that they all pretty much had the same idea in mind, and had the knowledge and experience needed to build the platform.
How does it make money?
The revenue model is simple. Airfordable charges a one-time fee on the price of the ticket that varies between 10% and 20%. Users can sign in to use the payment calculator to determine their fee and payment schedule. The service does not charge compounded interest, and does not require a credit check.
The concept is very simple and so far – the site has more than 27,000 users that are booking both international and domestic flights. The service is especially popular for people who want to travel overseas but can’t afford to pay a $1,500 or $2,000 ticket price upfront.
Marfo comments, “We have a lot of students using Airfordable to travel home or for study abroad programs. While other users are planning travel based around life milestones such as destination weddings and family vacations. We are covering just about any travel need you can think of.”
How they got started
Of course, funding is always a major obstacle for such ideas. But they were able to successfully secure a seed round of funding from Y Combinator – a startup incubator headquartered in Mountain View, California. So far, they’ve been using the funds to build the technology and for marketing.
Once the company gets more traction, they plan to expand their model to also launch micro-loans for vacation packages and hotels. For more details about Airfordable, visit www.Airfordable.com .