Boeing has invested $50 million in the second funding round of its venture capital arm with AE Industrial Partners, AEI HorizonX, in a move intended to support startup technology companies.
AEI HorizonX is aiming to raise $250 million in funding to help enable up-and-coming mobility, space and sustainability-focused aerospace companies, Boeing said Wednesday.
“This new Fund II builds on the foundation we have with Fund I and positions us to significantly expand our strategic access to disruptive technologies critical to shaping and realizing that future,” commented Marc Allen, chief strategy officer at Boeing.
The effort also supports startups conducting work in digital enterprise applications, networks and security and attempts to operate beyond just financial assistance. AEI HorizonX links its portfolio companies with Boeing’s team of professionals so that the former can draw from the latter’s immense resources and offerings.
During the first round of funding, AEI HorizonX invested in 51 companies throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. The entities are trying to make new discoveries in artificial intelligence and machine learning methodologies while addressing challenges like climate impacts from aerospace activities and gleaning data results from factories, products and services within the aerospace industry.
The partnership has additionally seen the venture capital firm promote the contractor’s Aerospace Xelerated enterprise, which similarly backs seed-stage, forward-thinking flight technology organizations.
Greg Hyslop, chief engineer at Boeing, emphasized the company’s commitment to helping entrepreneurs and technologists manifest their ideas into tested and implementable tools.
The investment in AEI Horizon X continues Boeing’s interest in supporting new innovations, especially artificial intelligence technologies. In June, the company partnered with NATO to establish a three-month challenge to field Swiss submissions for autonomous systems designed to strengthen situational awareness.