RedBeat taps 500 Startups’ expertise

By LYDIA NATHAN

The digital venture arm of AirAsia Group Bhd, RedBeat Ventures, has launch a venture capital (VC) arm in San Francisco, US, in partnership with 500 Startups, aiming to invest in start-ups looking to debut or expand in the South-East Asia market.

In a statement the low-cost carrier noted that the fund called RedBeat Capital will support post-seed stage startups in the fields of travel, lifestyle, financial technology, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

“RedBeat Capital will have access to 500 Startups deal flow and highly sought-after accelerator programme graduates and ideas,” the AirAsia statement noted.

500 Startups currently has a portfolio of 2,210 companies with more than 5,000 founders in 74 countries which includes ten unicorns like Twilio, Canva and Grab. Its CEO Christine Tsai said South-East Asia has talent and potential.

“This region has more Internet users than the US, which presents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs. To have an industry titan like AirAsia building a bridge with Silicon Valley through its partnership with 500 is exciting for our start-ups, many of which have ambitions for global scale,” she said.

She added that RedBeat Capital will co-invest in their selected portfolio companies.

RedBeat Ventures CEO Aireen Omar said the fund will complement and enhance AirAsia’s transformation into a travel technology company.