As per reports, the VC arm of Netherlands-headquartered Airbus Group will be investing in seed-round and early-stage startups in the country.
The exact size of the fund has not been disclosed. Commenting on the development, the Chairman of the Board of Airbus Ventures’ General Partner Entity Francois Auque said, “The financing vehicle should be ready by next year.”
With a corpus of $150 Mn, the company has reportedly poured money into 13 startups in Israel, Japan, Europe, and North America. In addition to aerospace, Airbus Ventures also invests in up-and-coming startups in domains like electric and renewable power, IoT, autonomous vehicles, and cyber security.
The average ticket size of the investment, according to Auque, ranges between $870K for seed rounds and $3.5 Mn (amounting to 10% stake) for Series A funding rounds.
Airbus Ventures usually teams up with other VC firms in every investment round. For the India fund, the company will be working alongside aerospace business accelerator Airbus Bizlab. Auque added, “We have a few companies in Bizlab in India where we could invest. We are speaking with them and understanding their business model.”
Airbus BizLab is a global aerospace business accelerator with offices in France, Germany, and Bengaluru in India. Originally established in Toulouse, France in March 2015, it offers support to early-stage projects in the form of a six-month accelerator programme. During the programme, aerospace startup founders are invited to use Bizlab’s facilities and resources to turn their ideas into feasible businesses.
As part of the accelerator programme, companies are offered access to a number of Airbus coaches, technical and business experts. The startups can also participate in a Demo Day with Airbus decision makers, venture capitalists, Airbus customers, and partners.
For the second cohort of the accelerator programme, Bizlab partnered with IvyCamp, the unified technology-based platform of IvyCap Ventures, in November 2016. In January 2017, Bizlab announced the launch of the second season, in which seven startups were shortlisted from across India. Siddharth Balachandran, the Airbus Bizlab Leader-India, stated, “These (startups) were selected because they had an immediate solution to some of Airbus’ pain points. We are looking at having 400 by the year end.”
At present, the accelerator programme is open to startups in robotics, IoT, data analytics, image processing, VR/AR, fintech, supply chain, door-to-door mobility (passenger experience). Apart from this, startups in gaming, aviation products and services, drones, manufacturing, airport management, space technologies and solutions can also be a part of the programme.
The latest Airbus Ventures-Bizlab fund is aimed at facilitating the growth and development of tech startups in aerospace and other fields.