Cheshire-based airport tech firm AeroCloud has raised £10.5m ($12.6m) in Series A investment to help establish the company as the operating system for airports globally.

The founding round has been led by US fund Stage 2 Capital, I2BF Global Ventures, Triple Point Venture and Praetura Ventures. They were joined in the round by existing investors Playfair Capital and Haatch.

Praetura’s commitment was supported with additional investment through the Regional Angel Programme by British Business Investments.

AeroCloud has now raised £13.3m ($16m) in total, and this new round of investment will support a doubling down on the airport management software revolution.

Founded by former professional racing driver George Richardson, who is the CEO, and airport operations innovator Ian Forde-Smith, who is the CTO, AeroCloud uses technology to solve the complex challenges airports face daily.

Airports are fast-moving domains, requiring smooth coordination of multiple factors in a high-pressure environment, from security to passengers and airlines.

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A lack of coordination between these different factors can affect an airport’s performance – in some instances, airports operate at only around 66 per cent capacity.

Even before the Covid-19, which caused escalating passenger processing times and labour shortages, these issues were difficult to manage, particularly for small and medium-sized airports.

As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, airports have struggled with adjusting to heightened demand, affecting operations worldwide.

AeroCloud uses leading-edge technologies such as AI and machine learning combined with hardware to transform airport operations, drive communication amongst stakeholders, and increase airport efficiency and operating margins.

The platform enables everything from faster passenger processing times to improved self-service check-in and bag drop and facilitates increased communication between stakeholders to deal with real-time fluctuations in processes to ensure that airports work better and communicate with their customers.

Richardson said: “The airport industry has had a difficult few years, which has only increased the need for a scalable, intelligent platform like AeroCloud.

“Before we launched AeroCloud, airports were forced to use legacy technology that was difficult to scale and barely fit for purpose.

“Now, it takes only 24 hours for an airport to onboard onto our platform and within two weeks, it’s already driving efficiency and operation gains. In fact, AeroCloud’s technology is so easy to use that it supports millions of operational decisions a day and doesn’t require anyone to be on-site.

“Raising capital in this market has been tough but I am delighted with the results owing to our strong growth and impressive team. It’s been an incredible few years building this business and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds which I am sure will be very exciting for airports globally and our investors.”

Liz Christo, partner at Stage 2 Capital, said: “In only a small time, AeroCloud has become the definitive operating software for small to medium-sized airports. Each module is so critical to running an airport’s operations that good enough is not an option, it has to be perfect.

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“George and Ian have built an impressive team dedicated to delivering an amazing customer experience, and we can see that it’s working with airports across North America and Europe signing multi-year contracts and putting their confidence in AeroCloud.

“I’m excited to work with the team to accelerate their growth in the US and support George and Ian as they build a generational software company.”

Founded in 2019, Macclesfield, AeroCloud uses AI and machine learning to transform airport operations and passenger processing solutions via the cloud.