Alaska Airlines launches new investment arm to develop mobility tech
Category: #business  By Pankaj Singh  Date: 2021-10-20
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Alaska Airlines launches new investment arm to develop mobility tech

Alaska Airlines, a major American airline, has introduced a new venture capital subdivision called Alaska Star Ventures. The launch comes at a time when the aviation sector is looking to develop technologies that help decarbonize air travel.

Alaska Star Ventures' initial investment, worth $15 million, is in Los Angeles-based UP.Partners' venture fund.

The early-stage fund of $230 million will focus on agility technologies and has reaped additional funding from Woven Capital, Hillwood, OSM Maritime and Standard Industries.

According to Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines' VP of public affairs and sustainability, the firm would collaborate with UP.Partners on its inaugural investments. At the same time, Alaska Star Ventures may contemplate further sector-focused fund investments. However, the major focus will be on investing in discrete technologies.

Alaska Airlines' wishes to invest in evolving tech that can assist it in reaching its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. The company also plans to be the most fuel-efficient airline by 2025 and cut ground services emissions to half by the same year.

Alaska Airlines revealed the non-binding goals in April when it signed Amazon's Climate Pledge among a host of other companies.

While clean-tech investments are increasing, Birkett Rakow believes that establishing a fund will assist the airline in identifying technologies that are "really relevant" to the operational environment and may be deployed in the next three to ten years.

She added that Alaska Airlines opted to invest in UP.Partners' fund because of the firm's two founders, Ben Marcus and Cyrus Sigari, who have extensive backgrounds and skills. In 2006, the two launched jetAVIVA, a jet sales services firm, and AirMap, a traffic management system for unmanned aircraft.

Birkett Rakow also mentioned that the new fund will look into other types of technologies that can increase efficiency or cut unnecessary fuel consumption.

Source Credit - https://techcrunch.com/2021/10/18/alaska-airlines-launches-new-venture-arm-with-first-investment-in-up-partners-230m-fund/

 

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Pankaj Singh    

Pankaj Singh

With an experience as an insurance underwriter and a freelance writer under his belt, Pankaj Singh boasts of quite some expertise in the field of content creation. A qualified Post Graduate in Management, Pankaj has also completed a detailed course in Digital Marketin...

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