Silicon Valley Bank and First Data are joining forces to boost an innovation lab for new payments and financial services innovation.

The Commerce.Innovated. accelerator, which SVB introduced in 2014, helps companies establishing technology for commerce, financial services and payment methods to grow their businesses. SVB says the four-month virtual program provides participants with operational mentorship from the bank's and First Data's networks.

“We’re excited to begin the next phase of Commerce.Innovated. with First Data as our partner,” Reetika Grewal, head of SVB's payments strategy and solutions group, said in an April 10 press release. “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, Silicon Valley Bank
Silicon Valley Bank's Reetika Grewal

SVB, considered the bank for some of the most innovative companies in the country, will offer small class sizes that will allow the bank and First Data "to work closely with each entrepreneur and really customize the program to help them reach their specific milestones,” Grewal added.

The accelerator offering takes hold less than a year after First Data and SVB secured a partnership in which First Data gained more access to the progress of technology development through the bank's clients and addressing the payment processing needs of those clients.

“Silicon Valley Bank has established a very strong reputation for working with the most innovative companies in the world and we are excited to expand our partnership with them to mentor the next generation of fintech startups,” said Guy Chiarello, president, First Data. “For years, First Data has tapped into Silicon Valley’s brightest minds, from growing our product and engineering footprint on the West Coast to partnering with the best technology companies in the Valley.”

Commerce.Innovated. has worked with 24 commerce, payments and fintech-focused startups to date, including Alloy, AppZen, Apruve, CardFlight, Dash, Domuso, Earny, Float, Footmarks, Gone, LaunchKey, LiveApp, Local Maven, Nowsta, Pay By Group, PennyOwl, Slide, SmartGift, SnapUp, Spend Labs, Splitwise, Standard Treasury, Truebill, and Qwil.

Since graduating from the program, more than half of the companies in the program have raised funding or been acquired, SVB said in the release.

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