Jewel Paymentech, a Singapore-based financial risk management company, has announced today it has been accepted to participate in the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator and as part of the programme has received an undisclosed investment from the bank.
While the specifics of the Wells Fargo investment could not be made public, the accelerator programme advertises an ‘up to US$500,000 investment’ for approved companies. It also takes a minority equity stake in the company.
Jewel Paymentech President and COO Wooi Siang Lee told e27 the investment is in addition to the S$1.5 million (US$1.1 million) Series A reported in January. Today’s announcement officially closes the round led by Tuas Capital Partners Pte. Ltd.
“We’ve been speaking to Wells Fargo for quite some time now,” Lee told e27. “They had been keen to participate in our Series A all long, but it was more a timing issue,” he said.
He went on to explain the bank only runs two intakes per year for its 6-month-long programme, so today’s announcement coincides with the latest admission.
Jewel Paymentech provides three risk analysis solutions for banks as they handle payments for merchant clients. For example, if a retailer were selling counterfeit goods, the Jewel Paymentech products are in the business of alerting the banks of this information.
Lee said the Wells Fargo accelerator is a big opportunity for the company.
Although the focus will be on Southeast Asia, the accelerator is an invaluable opportunity to gain exposure to the US market — a channel the company does not possess at this point. He cited access to mentors, business leaders and an opportunity to learn about the US market and its dynamics.
Furthermore, the acceptance is not a tie-up with Wells Fargo so Jewel Paymentech is free to spread its wings.
Other goals to accomplish during the programme are customer acquisition, product refinement and team expansion.
Wells Fargo pitches the accelerator as a way for companies outside of the bank to explore analytics, mobile, cybersecurity, payments, lending, user-interaction design, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, digital marketing, and operations in partnership with the financial institution.
“We are excited to be investing in Jewel Paymentech through our Startup Accelerator and have it be part our investment portfolio,” Steve Ellis, Head of Wells Fargo’s Innovation Group, said in an official statement.
“Jewel Paymentech’s risk technology and focus on onboarding procedures and speed and scalability in a bank’s merchant acquisition efforts, make it particularly interesting for us to explore”
It is a competitive accelerator and the latest batch is the first time the programme has looked towards Asian companies for participation.
Jewel Paymentech will be the first home-grown Singaporean company to be accepted into the accelerator — although a participant, Alpha Payments Cloud has moved headquarters from New York to Singapore.
Being something of a regional representative is a heartening validation for Jewel Paymentech.
“We are proud to say we are one of the [trailblazing] guys from Asia to go into the program,” he said.
Jewel Paymentech is a Echelon Top100 alumni, to witness Echelon Asia Summit’s TOP100 2016 startups take the next steps to success, secure your tickets at e27.co/echelon/asia now!