By partnering with incubator Founders Factory, the low-cost airline just bought a ticket to ride on the wave of startups creating innovative technology for the travel industry
Successful entrepreneurs have a talent for dreaming up ideas that disrupt the status quo. However, while ideas are free, turning early-stage concepts into money-making enterprises requires equal shares of hard work and financial backing. Fortunately, a new partnership between easyJet, the low-cost airline, and Founders Factory, the accelerator that doubles up as an incubator, aims to enable more innovators to reach for the skies.
The multimillion-pound deal will see Founders Factory and easyJet invest in five early-stage travel tech startups as well as co-create two companies from scratch every year for the next five years. The airline is said to be particularly interested in e-commerce, payments, artificial intelligence and analytics.
easyJet has been helping travellers on a budget reach their destination since 1995 and is no stranger to tech, having released its own app in 2011. “Over the last five years, we have used digital to transform the airline and the experience of our passengers,” said Dame Carolyn McCall, CEO of easyJet. “This partnership will create real value for easyJet and our passengers by putting disruptive thinking at the centre of our digital strategy.”
The deal is the latest in a string of partnerships formed between Founders Factory sand brands such as Aviva, L’Oreal, Guardian Media Group, China’s CSC Group and Holtzbrinck. Each partnership is set to work with startups that each company specialises in. “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,” said Brent Hoberman, co-founder and executive chairman of Founders Factory.
So while financial forecasts have recently predicted cloudy skies with a chance of recession , it seems that there may be blue skies ahead for some startups.