Western Union Launches First Accelerator Class with Techstars

New start-up program focused on innovation in payment tech and
cross-border money

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The
Western Union Company
(NYSE: WU), a leader in cross-border,
cross-currency money movement, and Techstars, the worldwide network that
helps entrepreneurs succeed, today announced the first class of the Western
Union Accelerator Powered by Techstars
. The class roster of 10
early-stage companies reflects a diverse range of startups that are
innovating to capture opportunities in next-generation payment
technology and cross-border money movement.

In addition to funding and dedicated co-working space at Serendipity
Labs
in Denver, the Western Union Accelerator Powered by Techstars
provides startups with intensive business strategy support and exposure
to a strong bench of experts from Western Union and the Techstars global
network of mentors. During the three-month program, participating
startups will have the opportunity to collaborate with leading fintech
professionals to refine their business models and accelerate growth. At
the end of the program, the companies will spotlight their innovations
and progress to potential investors at a demo day in Denver.

We see our new accelerator and relationship with Techstars as a vital
part of our broader innovation platform,” said Jeff Hochstadt, chief
strategy and development officer for Western Union. “As one of the
largest digital and physical cross-border money movers, Western Union is
uniquely positioned at the intersection of financial technology, data
and commerce. We attribute our staying power and ability to reinvent
ourselves to our innovation culture and openness to new ideas. We’re
excited to help these companies take their business to the next level
and look forward to learning from them, too.”

The roster of participating startups was selected from a group of
finalists after a global call for applications. Accelerator participants
will receive hands-on mentoring in entrepreneurship, business strategy
and marketing from fintech subject matter experts in a range of areas,
from compliance and blockchain to mobile wallets and settlement. The
companies in the first class are:

Andia

A mobile and web based facial recognition platform that validates and
authenticates financial transactions. https://andia.io/

Bridged AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a service providing scalable training
data solutions for organizations building out their own AI models. https://bridged.co/

Challenger Fund

Software platform to increase stability and earnings for every consumer
by maximizing the interest rate earnings for any checking or savings
account at any bank. https://www.challenger-fund.com/

Chord

Service that offers consumers debt-free capital to help with purchasing
a home while providing investors an avenue for investment in the housing
market and lenders a new lower risk lending option. http://trychord.com/

Curu

Software application that provides customers automated credit building. https://curu.app/

Leaf Global Fintech

Leaf provides digital financial services to refugees which limits the
need to carry cash across borders. http://www.leafglobalfintech.com/

Money Cards

Money Cards allows unbanked teens to request, receive and instantly
redeem funds from a mobile device. https://www.moneycards.co/

Rebric

Rebric provides a managed infrastructure platform so financial
institutions can get machine learning and AI systems in place quickly. http://rebric.io/home

Thrive Savings

Deliver financial empowerment through a mobile application by
automatically saving money for consumers. https://thrivesavings.com/

Trillbit

Technology that transforms any speaker and mic into a data transfer
device. https://trillbit.com/

I’m inspired by the founders we’ve selected and the impact these
companies can have at a global level,” said Ethan Austin, managing
director of the accelerator. “Teaming with Western Union, we’re ready to
bring some of the industry’s brightest minds together to explore the
future of payments and cross-border money movement.”

For more information on the Western Union Accelerator visit www.techstars.com/western-union-program

About Techstars

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed.
Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors,
alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their
companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup
Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and
Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator
portfolio includes more than 1,700 companies with a market cap of $20
Billion.

www.techstars.com

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a global leader in cross-border,
cross-currency money movement. Our omnichannel platform connects the
digital and physical worlds and makes it possible for consumers and
businesses to send and receive money and make payments with speed, ease,
and reliability. As of March 31, 2019, our network included over 550,000
retail agent locations offering Western Union, Vigo or Orlandi Valuta
branded services in more than 200 countries and territories, with the
capability to send money to billions of accounts and mobile wallets.
Additionally, westernunion.com, our fastest growing channel in 2018, is
available in approximately 70 countries, plus additional territories, to
move money around the world. With our global reach, Western Union moves
money for better, connecting family, friends and businesses to enable
financial inclusion and support economic growth. For more information,
visit www.westernunion.com.

Contacts

Western Union
John Derryberry
+1 415-203-8762
[email protected]

FleishmanHillard
Gina Simonis
+1 212-453-2264
[email protected]

Techstars
Ali Donnermeyer
+1 603-498-5965
[email protected]

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