Posted on April 24, 2017 by staff

IAG investing in two start-ups after Hangar 51 accelerator


One of the world’s largest airline groups, IAG, has announced it will be investing in two start-ups, Esplorio and Vchain.

More than 450 new businesses applied to join Hangar 51 accelerator, and five were selected to spend 10 weeks working in IAG’s headquarters.

From those five, Esplorio and Vchain have been selected to continue working with the group to further develop their products and benefit customers.

They will also receive a boost from IAG’s multimillion pound investment fund for digital transformation.

Esplorio is an app that records and shares travel experiences in a simple way.

During the Hangar 51 accelerator, it recorded cabin crew adventures and demonstrated how the app can create rich content automatically.

It checks travellers into their favourite places, tracks their routes and uploads their photos into a travel journal without manual interaction.

Vchain is a blockchain technology which builds patent-pending Digital Identity SaaS (Software as a Service).

It allows customers to have control over their data and helps them get through airports faster.

Around 50 per cent of passengers make errors when submitting passenger information to airlines before their flights, which then have to be manually corrected at the airport.

Vchain tested a prototype that automatically detects these inaccuracies and enables immediate corrections online.

Over the coming months the live tests will be expanded into a full commercial product for IAG.

Stephen Scott, IAG’s head of global innovation, said: “Hangar 51 has been a fantastic opportunity to work on business challenges together, combining IAG’s industry expertise with the start-ups’ speed and agility.

“The two companies we are investing in have the potential to add great value, rich content to our customers and operational efficiencies.

“This has been our first global accelerator programme and it will definitely not be our last.”