We are excited to announce that Matchstick Ventures Fund II has completed an investment in Landline (landline.com). Landline is a next generation transportation company that connects regional airports to major airport hubs.
Airlines have lost the ability to serve regional markets. Airline consolidation is causing airlines to cut back on regional routes and focus on major hubs. There is also a shortage of pilots due to new regulations and fewer smaller aircrafts as new R&D focuses on higher capacity aircrafts. People are now forced to drive 2+ hours or buy very expensive, infrequent regional flights to major hubs. These trends are causing people who do not live near a major hub to feel isolated and “left behind.”
One logical solution to this is using regional bus routes. But, the existing bus infrastructure is archaic, infrequent, and, to put it nicely, less than desirable. Also, bus routes are not timed to departures at the airport and can cause long layovers at airports. This is a terrible experience. Millions of travelers feel disappointed and disenchanted by their travel options and experience.
Landline is revolutionizing the way people think about regional transportation and logistics by bringing an airline mindset to the bus industry. The company uses the regional airport as hubs with daily trips to the major airline hub. The tickets are dynamically priced and timed to common departure times at the airport - something not seen in the industry to date. The buses are gorgeous with airline-quality trained staff. Finally, in the near future you will be able to go through security and check your bags at your regional airport. Then, when the bus arrives at the major hub, you’re dropped off behind security and can go straight to your gate.
The company has buses on the road with daily services to and from both Duluth and Mankato to MSP airport. They plan to launch a marketing and ticketing partnership with Sun Country airlines where travelers will be able to book their bus transportation as part of their airline booking experience. They are already in high-level talks with other major carriers. There are plans for expansion within Minnesota and beyond in the near term.
Landline’s founders, David Sunde and Ben Munson, have a long history in the airline industry. They both worked at SurfAir and Alaska Airlines where they saw firsthand the degradation of regional airports. Ryan met David when he reached out during a trip to Minnesota wanting to get connected to the local startup community. Ryan immediately understood the problem having grown up in rural Iowa near the almost defunct Mason City Regional Airport. He spent his childhood driving to Minneapolis and Des Moines for flights and knows this issue first hand.
Landline invited us to invest alongside some great co-investors - Upfront Ventures and Mucker Ventures - in their seed round. Landline is based in Los Angeles but the team is currently spending the majority of their time in Minnesota as its first market.
Founders: David Sunde, Ben Munson
HQ: Los Angeles, CA