Budget airline group AirAsia is starting a venture capital fund to help benefit startups in Southeast Asia.
RedBeat Capital plans to target early-stage startups in travel and tourism, cybersecurity, lifestyle and other related segments in partnership with startup accelerator 500 Startups.
AirAsia’s deputy group CEO, Aireen Omar will head up the San Francisco based business.
500 Startups says the ASEAN region is one of the world’s fastest-growing tech markets but has been mostly ignored by Silicon Valley apart from a few notable exceptions.
The VC fund will target investments that will be complementary to AirAsia’s core business.
AirAsia has actually been repositioning itself beyond the core airline business to encompass ecommerce, fintech and travel.
Omar says non-air revenues account for about 20% of business and there is potential to increase this to about 50% over time.