Venture Capital: UAL Floats United Airlines Ventures For Innovation In Travel And Sustainability

United Airlines Ventures will invest in high-potential companies innovating in sustainability and aerospace.

United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) announced its new corporate venture fund, United Airlines Ventures, on Thursday. The fund’s brief is to invest in emerging companies that could reinvent travel and aviation while engaging with startups that advance sustainability. These innovative companies and their technologies would help UAL meet its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 – without relying on traditional carbon offsets. (United)

United Airlines Ventures

Michael Leskinen, United’s current Vice President of Corporate Development and Investor Relations, will assume the additional role of President of United Airlines Ventures.

“Younger companies today have learned from aviation’s rich history and are combining it with more advanced technology and creative thinking to develop new ideas that give us the ability to revolutionize how airlines operate and in turn, the experience customers have when they fly,”  said United CEO Scott Kirby. “With United Airlines Ventures, we’re signaling our confidence in these companies and propelling them forward with our expertise and financial support to demonstrate that our commitment to innovation will strengthen our company and improve our customers’ experience more quickly than anyone ever anticipated.”

UAV sectors

United Airlines Ventures will focus on three sectors:

  • Sustainability – decarbonizing air travel
  • Aerospace – advancements in aircraft development and aerospace research
  • Technology – innovative technologies that will create value commercially, for the customer, or throughout United’s operations.

Companies already supported by UAL/United Airlines Ventures

Fulcrum Bioenergy makes low-carbon, low-cost, transportation fuels from one of the nation’s most abundant resources – household garbage. Utilizing trash as a feedstock, Fulcrum is diverting large volumes of waste from local landfills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100 percent on a lifecycle basis.

CLEAR transforms a person’s eyes and face into a touchless ID, allowing them to quickly and securely confirm their identity. Instead of using traditional ID documents, CLEAR uses these biometrics for identity verification by transforming them into encrypted code. A person can therefore leave their house, get through security and walk into a plane – without breaking a stride.

Archer Aviation makes full-scale electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that will define a new age of urban air mobility.

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