Welcome to our Member Spotlight series where we profile the exciting work of our member firms. For this deep dive, we spoke to Thomas d’Halluin, Managing Partner, at Airbus Ventures to learn more about the firm.
What makes your firm unique?
At Airbus Ventures, we champion outstanding leadership, science, and engineering through financial investments encouraging founders of Seed to Series B+ ventures to make an impact that spans a multitude of aerospace and adjacent sectors on and beyond Earth.
We independently support startup companies set to shift the future of aerospace. Investing in a full spectrum of fast-accelerating technologies — including autonomous mobility, electrification, low-carbon economy, advanced materials, manufacturing systems, next-generation computing, sensing, and security — our firm uniquely operates internationally to transform technology designed to address our planet’s greatest challenges. Learn more about the vision and scope of the fund on our newly launched website.
What inspired the name of your firm?
Airbus Ventures is the autonomous venture arm of Airbus SE. Given our roots in aviation and passions for aerial flight deeply imprinted in our DNA, we proudly leverage the richly dense networks of our mothership Airbus and its supply chain, as well as the wider ecosystem of our Limited Partners (LPs).
The fund’s ecosystem includes multiple LPs – including Development Bank of Japan Inc., Mitsubishi HC Capital, Fuyo General Lease Co., Ltd., and McKinley Capital – to foster a collaborative environment that better nurtures and enables our entrepreneurs to succeed.
What defines your portfolio?
Our system of portfolio companies can be broadly categorized in three interdependent areas:
Earth Future / “Terra” – We scout for companies whose primary focus centers on improving the human condition on our home planet. Such capabilities of interest include advancements in energy technology, environmental sciences, manufacturing, mobility, materials, and logistics.
To the Stars / “Stella” – We look for startups with planetary system ambitions to explore the unknown beyond Earth’s orbit. From launchers and landers to celestial communications, control, and development platforms, companies pioneering these capabilities are focused on off-planet endeavors, such as in-situ resource beneficiation and utilization, infrastructure establishment, and commercial space exploration.
The Realm Between / “Nexa” – We’re consciously focused on companies leveraging bits and atoms to develop capabilities transversing aerospace and other industries. With capabilities, such as simulation, unconventional computing, digital infrastructure, cybersecurity, and new forms of sensing and communicating, these companies operate within interstitial ‘worlds’, a nexus of the tangible and the abstract.
How has your firm evolved from its founding to today?
In alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Global Compact Principles, Airbus Ventures has accelerated its commitment to scout globally. We look for the distinctive and highly-diverse system talents driving our sectors of investment. This strategy is designed to activate the best potential for the ecosystem and the best futures for our planetary system.
We prioritize investing in companies dedicated to fueling low-carbon economies. Fully powered by diverse teams that help elevate our mission and impact, we are excited to be publicly launching the fund’s fast-maturing ESG principles and guidelines in the next several weeks.
Why is your firm an NVCA member?
NVCA is an essential hub for uniting and converging VC funds, startups, partners, and stakeholders to engage in important conversations surrounding technology, research, impact, and significant intersections across the U.S. political sphere. Consistently in search of new collaborators to engage in relevant and high-impact conversation, we’ve found excellent resources in NVCA’s auspicious network and innovative programming.
Describe your firm’s culture in 5 words or less?
Creative, courageous, and intensely system curious.