EasyJet is reported to have injected a “multimillion-pound” sum into a start-up accelerator that it hopes will breed the next big thing in the travel-tech industry.
The low-cost airline has backed Founders Factory, the brainchild of lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman.
The London investment vehicle aims to use cash from large companies to invest in 200 technology start-ups across six sectors within the next five years. Other big names that have signed up include Aviva and L’Oréal.
It invests about £30,000 in each company from which it takes a 7% stake and during a six-month period links fledgling firms directly to corporates seeking innovation.
EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall said the investment would play a big part in how the airline moves forward.
“This makes sense for us because it fits into our way of working,” she told the Sunday Times. “This is not about things that are smart and cool that won’t go anywhere.”
The move by easyJet follows British Airways parent company International Airlines Group creating Hangar 51, a 10-week accelerator programme for start-ups working in aviation.