Opening Asia for Russia

AirAsia starts investing in startups

05.03.2019 161 просмотров

Malaysian low-cost carrier launches venture capital fund to support innovation in Southeast Asia.


The RedBeat Capital Fund will focus on projects in travel, lifestyle, fintech, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Currently, the airline already cooperates with about 500 fast-growing companies, according to Reuters. Now a fund has been created for this, in which about $10 million has already been invested.
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The airline, which has pioneered low-cost travel in Asia, is diversifying into operations that already include payments, logistics, food and beverage brands, and an extensive loyalty program. About a year ago, the company invested in a Wi-Fi service, in which AirAsia owns about 80%. 

According to Irene Omar, CEO of RedBeat Capital venture fund, the company plans to make small investments in interesting startups in the amount of not more than 20%. “While we do not have a schedule for the placement of funds. Now we are focused on rebuilding business processes,” the top manager clarified. 


Irene Omar, CEO of RedBeat Capital venture fund. Photo:  womenofthefuture.co.uk

Experts note that the Asian airline is trying to find its way into the tourism and data processing business. This will compensate for losses during cyclical downturns in passenger traffic. In the fourth quarter of 2018, AirAsia recorded a loss for the first time in three years. The management noted that this is due to an increase in the cost of fuel and rental services. 

According to Irene Omar, digital technologies and machine learning will make it possible to more accurately predict consumer behavior and market trends. She also added that the investments that the fund will make are designed to help the company's core business. “I suppose that with the development of projects, our share in startups may increase. It is possible that over time it can grow up to 50%,” said Irene Omar.

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