UK. easyJet and Founders Factory today announced the first two travel start-ups selected for their pioneering ‘Travel Tech’ accelerator programme – FLIO¹ and LuckyTrip²
The announcement is a tremendous breakthrough for FLIO, one of the earliest and most innovative travel retail adopters in the digital, disruptive space.
As reported, FLIO was named Best Mobile Travel Solution at Eyefor Travel’s fifth annual Mobile Innovation in Travel Awards last year. In November 2016 it also announced a partnership with the world’s leading airport F&B provider, HMSHost International, through which the FLIO app will be available at over 50 of the company’s airport locations worldwide.
The association with Founders Factory and fast-growing EasyJet [which operates domestic and international scheduled services on over 820 routes in over 30 countries and carried more than 70 million passengers last year -Ed] was welcomed by FLIO Chairman Brian Collie, who commented: “The relationship with easyJet and Founders Factory is potentially transformative for FLIO and its partners. We’re delighted and honoured to be part of this programme.”
In October 2016 easyJet announced a strategic investment into Founders Factory, the corporate-backed incubator and accelerator founded by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox.
As part of their partnership, easyJet and Founders Factory will support the growth of five early stage travel tech start-ups and co-create two new travel businesses within the incubator programme every year for five years.
In May 2016 French beauty giant L’Oréal announced a strategic investment in Founders Factory, becoming its exclusive partner for investments in beauty tech start-ups worldwide. The investment was in line with L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon’s vision of the transformative power of digital for beauty.
Here are profiles of the first two choices for Travel Tech:
The global airport app is described as “the ultimate app for frequent travellers”. FLIO comes complete with maps, shopping deals, airport tips and departure information to help passengers navigate airports and make their journey less stressful. Founded by Stephan Uhrenbacher (founder Qype), Brian Collie (ex BAA plc and lastminute.com), Andy Watson (early Spotify), and currently working with 900 airports, FLIO aims to become the single app solution for every airport in the world.
Voted by Apple as ‘App Store Best of 2015’ and founded by London brothers Tiff and Alex Burns, LuckyTrip enables the (typically millennial) traveller to simply set their budget and find a unique holiday in just one tap. Each trip gives the prospective traveller somewhere to go and the cheapest flight to get there, somewhere to stay and something to do.
easyJet Director of Digital & Marketing James Millett said: “We’re delighted to announce the first companies in our Founders Factory initiative and welcome both FLIO and LuckyTrip into the easyJet portfolio. Both companies have strong mobile-first propositions in travel inspiration and airport experience that are already getting real traction with customers, have fantastic initiatives in their pipelines and passionate, talented entrepreneurs at the helm.
“Our five-year commitment to Founders Factory is all about putting disruptive thinking right at the heart of our digital activities to continue making things easier for customers at all stages of their journey with us. We look forward to working with the FLIO and LuckyTrip teams.”
Founders Factory Co-founder and CEO Henry Lane Fox commented: “Our in-house operations team will be providing an intense, bespoke support programme to assist with the growth of FLIO and LuckyTrip, something which, when combined with the industry knowledge and audience scale of easyJet, will mean an unparalleled offer for these start-ups.
“Our hunt for the brightest and best new innovation in travel tech is ongoing, and anyone with a great idea and brilliant team should get in touch with Founders Factory.”