February 11, 2016 / 5:11 AM / 3 years ago

JetBlue sets up VC unit to fund startups in travel, hospitality

(Reuters) - JetBlue Airways Corp (JBLU.O) said on Thursday it launched a venture capital unit that would invest in technology startups in the travel and hospitality industry.

The company has set aside a “multi-million dollar investment” to start funding ideas that have the “right strategic fit,” Bonny Simi, the president of the unit, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Simi did not specify how much JetBlue exactly intends to set aside for the fund.

The unit, JetBlue Technology Ventures, will operate from the GSVlabs campus in Redwood City, California.

The low-cost airline, known for introducing satellite TV and free onboard Wi-Fi Internet, said it would partner with other venture capital firms, universities and organizations inside and outside Silicon Valley to scout for startups.

Simi, who is also a JetBlue pilot, will report to Eash Sundaram, the company’s chief information officer and the head of JetBlue Technology Ventures advisory committee.

(This version of the story corrects dateline to Feb 11 from Feb 10.)

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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