Hunch Goes Public as India Takes Flight

Eager to tap India’s rapidly growing luxury market, Hunch Mobility announced it will be going public via a SPAC acquisition. The company, officially named FlyBlade (India) Private Limited, provides by-the-seat short distance helicopter flights within the Indian subcontinent. The deal implies a pro forma enterprise value of $223 million and Hunch Mobility plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Hunch is providing a solution for a serious problem in India, which is one of the most congested traffic markets in the world,” according to the company’s press release. “The Company’s ability to provide consumers with the option of avoiding this congestion, at a reasonable price point, has the potential to move by-the-seat helicopter transportation out of the luxury category and into a ubiquitous part of everyday life.”

Hunch Mobility is looking to capitalize on its first-mover advantage in a surging market. India was the fastest growing major economy in 2023, clocking a GDP growth rate of 6.3%, which is double the United States’ 3.1% growth, and handily beats China’s 5.2% lackluster growth for the year. India is expected to remain on top for 2024 as well: it is projected to grow at 6.1%, compared to the U.S.’s 2.4% growth and China’s 4.7%. India’s economic boom is making some of its citizens quite wealthy.

Source: Statista

From 2012-2022 the number of India’s ultra-rich, defined as individuals owning $30 million in assets net of liabilities, increased 11 fold. With 4,980 of these ultra-wealthy individuals as of 2021, that placed India behind only Canada (5,510), Germany (9,720), China (32,710) and the US (141,140).

Source: Hindu Business Line

At the same time, some of India’s cities suffer from some of the worst traffic in the world. According to TomTom Traffic Index, which assessed 387 cities across 55 countries, two of the nation’s cities — Bengaluru and Pune – made the top 10 list for worst traffic congestion. While London received the top spot, multiple Indian cities consistently make the list. Hunch seeks to capitalize upon the convergence of these two phenomena of rising wealth and formidable traffic by providing helicopters to skip over the traffic.

The company is seeking a more moderate price point so those who own far less than the ultra-rich can hop on board; however, despite the increase in wealth at the top, the average annual salary in India remains at $11,406, so the average person may not be hopping helicopters regularly any time soon.