The newest class of startups to join Silicon Valley Bank’s fintech accelerator are focused on student loan repayment assistance as an employee perk and easing businesses’ and consumers’ payment pain points.

The five startups that make up the seventh class of Commerce.Innovated are FutureFuel, Roger, Teampay, Waypay and Candex. Over the next four months, Silicon Valley Bank and the commerce technology company First Data will help those companies make the leap from their incubator stage to their Series A funding rounds.

“As the fintech ecosystem evolves, we are seeing a shift toward companies focusing on solving important business challenges. The group is made up of really strong companies with great leadership and market opportunities in the [business-to-business] and [business-to-business-to-consumer] space,” Reetika Grewal, head of payments strategy and solutions at Silicon Valley Bank, said in a press release Wednesday.

Reetika Grewal
“As the fintech ecosystem evolves, we are seeing a shift toward companies focusing on solving important business challenges," said Reetika Grewal, the head of payments strategy and solutions at Silicon Valley Bank.

FutureFuel, of Boston, works with employers to offer student loan repayment assistance and refinancing as an employee perk. Roger, based in San Francisco and Copenhagen, is a business and consumer bill-payment app. The New York-based Teampay makes purchasing software that lets companies request, approve and make payments, and track employee spending in real time.

Waypay, headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, in Canada, makes bill payment and reconciliation solutions for companies that do business in multiple currencies. San Francisco-based Candex makes software that helps large companies pay small vendors and improves their visibility on spending.

“Each company that was selected for Class 7 tackles a key issue within the fintech space, for both businesses and consumers,” said Christine Larsen, executive vice president and chief operations officer at First Data. “These early-stage companies are driving the future of the industry, and we can’t wait to see what they will accomplish during their time in the virtual program.”

During the four-month program, each company receives one-on-one mentor support, plus access to a professional network they can tap for potential customers and business partners. The $51 billion-asset Silicon Valley Bank, a unit of SVB Financial Group, has graduated 28 companies from Commerce.Innovated since its launch in 2014. The bank said that more than half of those companies have raised funding or been acquired since graduating from the program.

First Data, a commerce technology company that processes about $2.2 trillion worth of transactions annually, joined the accelerator last year with the intent of bringing its fintech and payments expertise to the effort.

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