Visa Opens Technology Scouting Outpost in Tel Aviv
Seeking to tap Israeli fintech companies, Visa launched a local startup collaborations hub, building on a previous program that closed
In 2015 Visa launched a startup engagement program in Israel, called Collab, which has since closed. The program has formed the basis for some of the new studio’s operations, a Visa spokeswoman said in a phone interview with Calcalist Tuesday.
The Tel Aviv studio will focus on the domains of open banking services, retail, transportation, and authentication. Four local startups have already started on developments tailored to Visa’s systems as part of the program: online ID verification company AU10TIX Ltd., mobile ticketing app developer HopOn Ltd., video-based digital CRM solutions provider Idomoo Ltd., and artificial intelligence-based personalized financial guidance company Personetics Technologies Ltd. Visa will also work with a limited number of early-stage startups that will gain access to the space, the company said.
Visa’s active manager in Israel Shahar Friedman was tapped to run the new lab. “Israel has become home to a thriving fintech community," Mr. Friedman said in a statement.
Visa also intends to increase collaboration with local venture capital funds and other fintech centers, and form strategic partnerships with local banks and other financial institutes, the company said in a statement.
Both Barclays and Citibank operate fintech accelerators in Tel Aviv, launched in 2016 and 2013, respectively. The two also have development centers in the country, as does J.P. Morgan.