The Chicago, Illinois-based Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) have launched a new venture group to invest money in tech startups that show promise. In fact, quick to the task, Boeing has already identified two of these startups and invested in these businesses. This is the latest sign that large firms are keeping an eye open for evolving technologies that are involved in designing and manufacturing new products or are coming up with new ways.
Boeing Invests Money in Two Startups
Boeing has named the new division HorizonX. They have invested in the Washington DC-based software company Upskill that uses eye wear, much like Google Glass, to help assembly line workers carry out complex tasks, such as creating wiring bundles for Boeing aircrafts. Boeing has worked with Upskill before, working on a lot of fields from pilot tests to production.
The second startup where HorizonX has invested in is the Seattle-based company Zunum Aero. The company is working on an electric-hybrid aircraft that will bring down the cost of flying into regional airports by a great deal, and naturally, Boeing is interested in their technology. Interestingly, in a show of proof that what they are doing can be valuable, Zunum has also received funding from JetBlue Technology Ventures, which is a unit of JetBlue Airways.
Of course, Boeing and JetBlue are not the only businesses that are investing money in tech startups and taking up stake there. For instance, the venture arm of General Electric (NYSE:GE) has also invested in Upskill in a previous funding round. The Airbus Group from Europe, a rival of Boeing, started their own venture fund back in 2014.
Boeing Has a Long-Term Vision for These Investments
Though Boeing has invested money in these two firms and has taken up a stake, but the immediate goal is not to earn money. The Vice President of vice president, Steve Nordlund, who heads HorizonX said, they want to access technology that is being developed by these two firms that can be used in machine learning, autonomous vehicles, wearable devices, and additive manufacturing.
He said, “These are all starting to converge and have the potential to fundamentally change how we operate inside and outside of companies”.
Boeing has not revealed the amount they have invested in these two firms. But it was learned that they have committed to spending millions of dollars every year to push the advancement of innovation through extensive research and development.