JetBlue launches tech-focused VC firm

The airline is the latest corporation to enter the venture capital market with JetBlue Technology Ventures.

US airline JetBlue has launched JetBlue Technology Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary that will invest in early stage startups in the technology, travel and hospitality sectors by partnering with incubators, venture capital firms and universities in Silicon Valley.

Bonny Simi, a JetBlue pilot and officer, will serve as president of the subsidiary, reporting to Eash Sundaram, JetBlue executive vice president and chief information officer, according to a statement from JetBlue.

Simi has more than a decade of leadership experience holding talent, customer experience and other roles within the airline, and more than 25 years in the airline industry.

“We can offer our knowledge and resources to bring early-stage ideas to life. We won’t limit our thinking to traditional airline operations, and instead consider possibilities at every stage in the travel experience,” said Simi in the statement. 

JetBlue Technology Ventures will be based at GSVLabs in Redwood City, California. 

Earlier this month, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the children’s television show Sesame Street, launched Sesame Ventures to invest in startups focused on children’s education, health, nutrition, and development. Other non-technology corporations already active in venture capital in recent years include Unilever Ventures and 7-Eleven’s 7-Ventures.