Skift Take

Big league backers are seeing the potential of digital health passports, and not just for flying.

Identity and access are the name of the game in 2021, as a host of investors pile $100 million into Clear, a secure identity company that recently launched its own digital health passport.

The investors include Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality Investments, Liberty Media and 32 Equity, the investment arm of the NFL.

Clear’s platform is used at airports, hotels and restaurants, as well as sports clubs and venues, where it links identity with different information sets, including credit cards, game tickets, reservations, frequent flyer numbers, driver licenses and passports. It has five million users and 55 locations across the U.S.

To Learn More About Digital Health Passports at Skift: Digital Health Passports Explained in 5 Questions

Its new Health Pass, which connects members’ identity to Covid-related information, including vaccination results, has been adopted by 35 organizations so far, including the National Hockey League, MGM Resorts, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and nine NBA teams.

Local Level

While technology companies like SITA work with airports and governments to boost their adoption, Clear’s offering highlights the fact that a regional approach is just as important.

Jeremy Springall, SITA’s vice president of border management, said different countries would now need to adopt “various flavors” of passports.

Nine NBA teams have signed up to Health Pass. Picture: JC Gellidon/Unsplash

“To reopen our brick and mortar economy and restore the personal interactions that make New York the most vibrant and connected city in the world, we need the Clear Health Pass,” said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “That is why we are encouraging businesses to embrace the Clear model, so they can bring people back to the office and ensure the safety of our shops, restaurants, theaters and entertainment venues much more quickly than would otherwise be possible.”

Clear said the new funding showcases how the company was expanding beyond its core aviation business, where passengers can use the platform at selected security lanes at different airports.

“I’ve seen first-hand how powerful Clear’s technology can be with Health Pass creating safer working environments for our team members at Union Square Hospitality Group,” said Danny Meyer, co-founder and managing partner of Enlightened Hospitality Investments.

The range of investors, which also includes LionTree Partners and Michael Jordan’s family office, represents a level of joined-up thinking that’s not often seen in the wider travel industry. But while the passports are in place, agreeing on entry requirements may not be as simple to agree on.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Liberty Media was a controlling shareholder in TripAdvisor.

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Tags: digital health passports, liberty media, liberty tripadvisor, mgm resorts, new york city, nfl

Photo Credit: 32 Equity, the investment arm of the NFL, among others have contributed to Clear's $100 million funding. Clear has a partnership with United Airlines. Skift

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