AMEX pledges US$100-million for digital start-ups -- in the US

This article by  (CNET News, November 8, 2011) reports on American Express’s announcement that it will invest $100 million in startups that are designed to address mobile and online payments, security, reward and loyalty programs, and other forms of digital commerce. Rather than launch its own major initiatives in the way Visa and Google has, AMEX will support start-ups “at an arm’s length”.

American Express established an office in Silicon Valley to tap into local startup talent. The business will be run by Harshul Sanghi, managing partner at the company’s enterprise growth group and the former head of Motorola Mobility Ventures. The company said he brings a deep understanding of the venture community.

I guess AMEX can’t be blamed for focusing on the USA, and Silicon Valley in particular, but there are many innovators in developing economies that face the constraint of a lack of access to venture capital.