AirAisa Pilots New US Venture Capital Fund

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Airline AirAisa is dipping into the domestic venture capital scene through its new RedBeat Ventures arm.

The VC has announced it will also set up a partnership with 500 Startups, an incubator and venture capital firm based in the US.

RedBeat Capital is designed to fund seed stage startups and invest in scale-able startups planning to enter or expand their presence in Asia, where RedBeat’s parent company AirAisa is based. The startups RedBeat is interested in particularly are travel and lifestyle, logistics and financial tech. Other markets RedBeat is interested in include internet of things, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

“AirAsia and RedBeat Capital are on the lookout for the world’s best and brightest to help us develop a travel technology ecosystem,” said AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes in a statement. “What better place than right here in San Francisco [where its operations are based].”

As for its partnership with 500 Startups, RedBeat plans to invest in a select number of the more than 2200 startups in 500 Startups portfolio.

“Talent is both universal and abundant in all corners of the world, especially in Southeast Asia,” said Christine Tsai, CEO of 500 Startups. “Moreover, this region has more internet users than the US, which presents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs. To have an industry titan like AirAsia building a bridge with Silicon Valley through its partnership with 500 is exciting for our startups, many of which have ambitions for global scale.”

RedBeat already operates several hospitality and logistics focused startups, including BIGLIFE, which owns hospitality related startups, ROKKI, BigPay and RedCargo Logistics. RedBeat plans to invest in more tech startups around the world.

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