American Express has announced it is establishing a $100 million fund to support startup firms in the e-commerce space.
The digital commerce initiative will make investments in a number of areas involving the digital commerce experience, including loyalty and rewards, mobile and online payment management, fee-based services, security and fraud detection and data analysis.
Harshul Sanghi, American Express’ VP of the Enterprise Growth Group, explains that the investments will range in size but will focus on early-stage startups and be made over the next several years.
Other American Express investments have included Clickable, Rearden Commerce, and Payfone. However the establishment of a fund structure conveys a long term commitment to the digital commerce space in general and startups in particular. American Express partnerships with the likes of Facebook and Foursquare are also consistent with the market message. This long-range orientation appears to be seeking initiatives that may transform the industry, rather than buying in to a near-term market share opportunity.