From offering a smoother traveler experience to implementing blockchain solutions, major airlines are increasingly looking to startups for innovation.
Major airlines are becoming increasingly active in the private market.
Just last year, JetBlue, ANA Holdings, and EasyJet, among others, backed 19 startups — 4x more than the number of startups backed by major airlines in 2016. In total, the largest airlines have made 26 investments in startups since 2013.
Using CB Insights data, we analyzed where some of the largest airlines (40M+ passengers carried per year) and their venture funds have placed their private market bets since 2013.
Specifically, we looked at investments made by JetBlue, ANA Holdings, EasyJet, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, IAG, Lufthansa, and Japan Airlines.
Improving traveler experience emerged as an area of focus for many of these airlines, alongside investing in new airplane technology ranging from blockchain solutions to supersonic jets.