JetBlue Airways announced on Wednesday that it will launch a Silicon Valley-based venture capital subsidiary.
Called JetBlue Technology Ventures, the company will be led by former Olympian-turned-pilot-turned-airline-executive, Bonny Simi.
“JetBlue has always been an innovative airline,” Simi told Business Insider.
“This is a great way for the company to look towards the future.”
The new company wants to invest in tech innovations that will evolve JetBlue’s customer experience and move forward the travel industry at large.
As such, JetBlue Technology Ventures won’t function like a traditional fund, Simi said.
“We are an operator and we are looking for strategic investment,” She added.
“The goal is not necessarily to make a boatload of money. Having other investors could alter the goals the fund is trying to achieve.”
The subsidiary will launch with a “multimillion dollar” investment from JetBlue and will be wholly-owned by the airline.
JetBlue’s venture capital arm will operate from the heart of Silicon Valley, where it will be steeped in a clutch of transportation industry startups.
According to Simi, JetBlue Technology Ventures will do more than just give money to startups. It’s also touting the strength of JetBlue’s brand cachet. The company has said it will explore partnerships with other venture capitalists on investments.
Simi will report to JetBlue CIO Eash Sundaram.
Ultimately, JetBlue’s latest venture is an ambitious move to present itself as more than just an airline.
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