RedBeat Ventures, the digital venture arm of budget airline AirAsia, on Monday announced the launch of a new venture capital fund.
Called RedBeat Capital, the fund will target post-seed stage startups seeking to enter or expand their presence in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on travel and lifestyle, logistics, and fintech.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes told TechCrunch that the fund size is $60 million. The VC fund will also operate independently and is raising capital from external investors, as first reported by DEALSTREETASIA.
“AirAsia and RedBeat Capital are on the lookout for the world’s best and brightest to help us develop a travel technology ecosystem. What better place to start than right here in San Francisco,” Fernandes said in a statement.
RedBeat Capital has partnered with San Francisco-based venture capital firm 500 Startups to gain access to its deal flow, and its accelerator programme graduates and ideas.
“Talent is both universal and abundant in all corners of the world, especially in Southeast Asia. Moreover, this region has more internet users than the US, which presents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs,” said 500 Startups CEO Christine Tsai.
Led by RedBeat Ventures CEO and AirAsia Group Deputy CEO (Technology and Digital) Aireen Omar, the venture capital fund’s launch is another move to facilitate the company’s transformation from a low-cost carrier into a travel technology company.
“We intend to operationalise this year, working with Christine [Tsai] and her team to identify and invest in startups that are willing to grow and expand, particularly into Southeast Asia where we have the network, data and regional expertise to help accelerate their business,” Fernandes added.
RedBeat Ventures oversees AirAsia’s digital lifestyle brands BIGLIFE, AirAsia BIG Loyalty, travel360.com, Vidi, BigPay, RedCargo Logistics, RedBox, ROKKI and OURSHOP.
AirAsia services an extensive network of over 140 destinations across the Asia Pacific. It claims that since starting operations in 2001, it has carried more than 500 million guests and grown its fleet from just two aircraft to over 200.