One of the United Arab Emirates’ national airline carriers, Etihad Airways, is joining a newly announced Israeli scale-up program for travel tech startups as a partner. The new program, called OnBoard, is led by Israeli investment company Arieli Capital. It will have a budget of USD 3 million (ILS 10 million) and is set to begin early next year.
Etihad Airways will help select the participating startups, mentor them, provide them with connections in the travel industry, and may consider an investment at the end of the cycle, Arieli Capital told NoCamels via email.
In this arrangement, Etihad Airways joins tourism giants Booking.com and Amadeus, companies that are also partnered with the program.
More than a hundred startups have already applied to join OnBoard, Arieli Capital indicated.
OnBoard will work with approximately ten startups per cycle at one cycle per year, Arieli Capital said. The program will help startups with business plan development, connections to market and customers, recruitment assistance, business cooperation, as well as access to infrastructure and marketing tools.
Investments in the companies will be weighed by Arieli Capital and the partners in the program at later stages, according to the announcement.
“There is no better time to come together, for top leaders in the travel tech industry to create such a unique program aimed at helping the global travel industry launch forward,” said Or Haviv, partner and head of innovation at Arieli Capital.
“The global travel industry experienced unprecedented growth before the COVID-19 crisis. Today, more than ever, travel brands understand that in order to build back and continue their growth, they must adopt innovative thinking, agile operations, adaptive revenue channels, and leading technologies. The OnBoard scale-up program by Arieli Capital is designed to do just that, connect leading travel brands to validated, market-ready technologies,” Haviv said.
This article first appeared in NoCamels, which covers innovations from Israel for a global audience.