Citi Ventures is partnering with Californian accelerator Plug and Play to launch a global fintech innovation programme, with locations in the US, Germany, Singapore, Brazil and Spain.
The programme will utilise Citi’s global lab network while building on its first fintech accelerator, launched in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2013. Participating startups will be offered mentorship, feedback on product ideas and roadmaps, and introductions across Citi's global network.
The bank is calling for pitches from startups to join an inaugural 12-week US programme consisting of two classes of between 20-30 firms with a focus on mobile payments and banking, as well as security and authentication. Citi Venture's will act as an anchor partner to Plug and Play for the programme, and has secured Inuit as its first sponsor.
“Citi was one of the first banks to launch a fintech accelerator, and Citi Ventures brings to this programme deep financial services expertise, global reach and a demonstrated record of championing entrepreneurs,” says Plug and Play founder Saeed Amidi. “The Citi Ventures team already coordinates activities across seven global labs, adding highly complementary networks to our program.”
With investments in Paypal, Lending Club and Credit Sesame, Plug and Play’s network includes more than 300 tech startups, 180 investors, and a community of top-flight universities and corporate partners in the US, Europe and Asia.
Debby Hopkins, chief innovation officer of Citi and CEO of Silicon Valley-based Citi Ventures, says: “Our team is committed to accelerating emerging technologies that have the potential to transform financial services experiences for Citi’s customer. Collaborating with Plug and Play adds to our internal innovation efforts and increases our ability to work with startups on disruptive new ideas around the world.”