Japan Airlines (JAL) has set up a corporate venture capital (CVC) fund with a corpus of 8 billion Yen (about $70 million) to invest in travel and mobility startups.
The fund, called Japan Airlines Innovation Fund, will be managed by US venture capital firm TransLink Capital.
JAL said the CVC will help enhance its product offerings as a full-service carrier and leverage its assets to focus on new types of transportation.
Founded in 1951, Japan Airlines provides airline services in Japan and internationally. The company offers scheduled and non-scheduled air transportation services, and aerial work services.
It operates a fleet of 174 owned and 48 leased aircraft. Its main hubs are Tokyo’s Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport as well as Osaka’s Kansai International Airport and Osaka International Airport, according to data from CrunchBase.
In December 2017, JAL made a $10-million investment in Boom Supersonic, which is developing a new-generation supersonic jet. It also made pre-commitments to take 20 of the aircraft. It has also backed Tokyo-based Ispace Inc, a private lunar robotic exploration company seeking to provide low-cost transportation service.
US-based TransLink Capital focuses on investments in IT-related startup companies and connects them with major companies in Asia, including Japan.