By Elle Bruno, Managing Director of the Techstars + Western Union Accelerator
We are thrilled to introduce the 2021 class of the Techstars + Western Union Accelerator. This year's investment thesis is Innovation in the Movement of Money. And ultimately, we found ourselves honed in on companies working toward closing the socioeconomic gap and amplifying globalization. It happened organically, yet in hindsight, it makes perfect sense because this has been the mission of Western Union, a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments for 170 years.
With our second virtual program, we’ve met with companies all over the world. We spent a lot of time sourcing companies internationally recognizing the vibrant, talented, and still somewhat untapped geographies of underbanked communities. Our founders hail from Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, the Philippines and the United States. We have consumer solutions focused on financial wellness and lending for the underbanked and the caring class, to a blockchain supported SIM credit marketplace. And equally diverse are their commercial solutions - POS solutions for the sari sari markets in the Philippines to infrastructure solutions serving FIs in Mexico.
This year, we are also proud to announce that 100% of our CEOs identify as a diverse class, whether female, black, hispanic or asian. This is a direct reflection of the diversity of thought, and problems being solved by these founders. It is a direct reflection of the types of founders we need in fintech because the world’s financial challenges need to be addressed by the world’s population.
Over the course of these next 13 weeks, we look forward to working together with the team and mentors at Western Union to support our founders. They will spend over 100 hours with investors and mentors, developing fundraising strategies to the most granular product market fit strategies. We hope you can join us on October 14th to discover the future of fintech and the progress our ten companies have made.
Please join me in welcoming these ten incredible companies to the 2021 Techstars and Western Union companies. We can’t wait to see what they do next.
Financial platform for underserved employees with financial solutions attached to payroll.
We use the blockchain to convert any prepaid SIM into a virtual debit card
We help MFIs to improve client loyalty, timely payments and finserv uptake
API Service to quickly build compliant fintech solutions
Creating inclusive technology for micro-retailers in the Philippines
San Francisco, CA
Staax is a mobile app that lets you pay and get paid with fractional shares while earning 5% interest on cash balances.
401K alternative API for employers to serve the underbanked
Swipe helps banks and credit unions give loans to the underserved
San Francisco, CA
Simplifying the path to financial success for America’s Caring Class
Simplifies loans between friends, family, and trusted relationships