Finance


JPMorgan has agreed to buy payments start-up WePay, in its first major acquisition of a financial technology (fintech) firm.

The investment bank said Tuesday it would provide its 4 million small businesses clients with WePay’s payments technology.

“With WePay, Chase is taking the work out of payments for both our business clients and the software providers who serve them,” Matt Kane, CEO of Chase Merchant Services, said in a statement Tuesday.

“We are powering payments for growth, so businesses can accept payments instantly, get paid faster, and never lose a sale.”

WePay is a Silicon Valley company that offers payment capabilities to business platforms. The firm’s technology uses application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate payments functionality with software. APIs are codes that allow different software components to communicate with each other.

JPMorgan did not disclose the value of the acquisition, but the Wall Street Journal reported the price being above the $220 million valuation WePay reached in a 2015 funding round.

WePay’s software is currently used by crowdfunding website GoFundMe, cloud-based accounting firm FreshBooks and online marketer Constant Contact.

“Being part of the Chase family — with its global capabilities, brand and scale — will help us better support our growing list of platform partners and the businesses they serve,” Bill Clerico, founder and CEO of WePay, said.

“We’re excited to marry the distribution of one of the world’s largest and most respected financial institutions with the best technology and talent in Silicon Valley.”

Financial institutions have expressed growing interest in fintech acquisitions.

In August, credit card processing company Vantiv bought payments processor Worldpay for $10.4 billion.

And last week a Bernstein analyst predicted that PayPal would likely invest billions in a payments company in “coming months” — with Square, Stripe, and Adyen on its radar.



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