Team credibility, space for growth and scaling and future financial returns are the key considerations for IAG’s venture capital team when they review new businesses.

Speaking to FINN at May’s Sustainable Skies World Summit 2024, IAG and Hangar 51 ventures principal Matt Ridley said his team are always looking for new investment opportunities in sustainable technology, providing they are the right fit.

He added: “As a venture capitalist we are looking to get a financial return, we want to back companies that can grow but we also want to back companies that can scale so they can have the strategic impact we need.

“If a company is doing something very relevant to decarbonisation and there’s a really credible path to growth and scaling then we would consider that investment.

“We look very carefully at the team, its composition and culture and the experience that team has had. The credibility of the team is the number one selection criteria.”

Ridley said start-ups offering technology that can help IAG decarbonise over the next 10 to 15 years are his core focus, and the team have made a number of investments since 2017.

He added the companies that they do invest in will feel a number of benefits beyond the agreed cash, while there is still room for more start-ups to enter the arena.

“It’s really helpful for them, it provides market validation, it shows other investors that airlines are serious (about them and the industry) and it definitely helps with market validation and to scale the business,” Ridley said.

“We also contribute a lot of knowledge and we’ve got some of the best experts specifically in sustainability.

“This is such a great growth area, as an industry we need so much sustainable aviation fuel that actually often these aren’t competing technologies, they’re complimentary technologies.”

Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter