Owing to a multi-million pound partnership with Founders Factory, easyJet (a British low cost airline) will be investing in five early-stage Travel-tech startups. Also resulting from this partnership will be the co-creation of two companies from scratch every year.
easyJet is the latest established business tapping tech talent to boost innovation. The airline is the sixth corporate backer of the startup hot house, established by renowned entrepreneurs Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox (rising in the public eye with Lastminute.com), with the ambitious goal of creating 200 successful startups over the next five years.
The carrier, itself a disrupter to the industry when it was first established in 1995, will plough a multimillion pound sum into the project, backing startups disrupting the travel sector, which spells good times for TravelTech. The news comes just a week after Founders Factory announced it latest partnership with Chinese private equity firm CSC Group, with a goal to nurture AI talent in Europe and China.
Speaking about the partnership, Dame Carolyn McCall, CEO of easyJet, said it would serve to create value for the airline and its passengers:
This partnership will create real value for easyJet and our passengers by putting disruptive thinking at the centre of our digital strategy. Over the last five years, we have used digital to transform the airline and the experience of our passengers. Working with Founders Factory to explore opportunities for advanced TravelTech services will help us to keep making travel easy and affordable.
Launched by Brent Hoberman, Henry Lane Fox and Jim Meyerle, Founders Factory is also backed by giants such as Aviva and L’Oréal. The team considers easyJet’s joining them as sixth and final corporate investor a stepping stone for the company. Hoberman, co-founder and executive chairman of Founders Factory, commented:
We are confident that together we can support the next generation of innovators in travel leveraging digital scale, data, personalisation, VR, AI, ecommerce breakthroughs and FinTech.
easyJet has also sealed deals with Holtzbrinck publishing group in the area of education and the Guardian Media Group in media.