First Data joins SVB's fintech accelerator

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Silicon Valley Bank has teamed up with First Data to provide mentorship and expertise to startups enrolled in Commerce.Innovated., the bank's accelerator program.

Launched in 2014, the accelerator is a four-month program aimed at helping startups in the commerce and payments industry bridge the gap between their incubation stage and Series A funding round.

Each participating company receives dedicated support from one or more mentors, with most meetings taking place virtually. As in most accelerators, participants can also tap into the professional networks of the program's sponsors to find new customers and business partners.

The $44.6 billion-asset Silicon Valley Bank's partnership with First Data, announced on Monday, is designed to deepen the pool of knowledge and connections from which startups in the program can benefit. First Data helps companies around the world process more than $2.2 trillion of transactions a year.

"First Data brings vast payments, fintech and commerce expertise and resources to the table that will be pivotal for our startups as they build their businesses," Reetika Grewal, the bank's head of payments strategy and solutions group, said in a news release. "Our small class size allows us to work closely with each entrepreneur and really customize the program to help them reach their specific milestones."

The program is open to early-stage companies with existing seed funding and a working product, including those that are not clients of First Data or Silicon Valley Bank. So far 24 companies have taken part, including Dash, LaunchKey, Truebill and Qwil.

More than half of the startups that have graduated have since raised venture funding or been acquired, according to the release.

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Fintech Start-up funding Payments SVB Financial First Data