This article was originally posted to St. Louis Business Journal.
Gremlin Social, a St. Louis-based financial services social media management and compliance software firm, has been selected to participate in the startup accelerator of Jacksonville, Florida-based public company FIS.
The St. Louis startup is one of 10 companies participating in the FIS Fintech Accelerator, a joint venture of FIS and The Venture Center of Little Rock, Arkansas. FIS is a technology provider for the financial services sector with more than 20,000 clients and over 47,000 employees. The accelerator’s cohort companies are participating in a 12-week program that includes training, mentoring and networking. The 10 companies will participate in a demo day on July 17.
Selection into the FIS accelerator is not Gremlin Social’s first interaction with the public company.
The startup already has a contract with FIS, which came to Gremlin through a company it acquired last year. However, Gremlin Social sees its participation in the accelerator program as chance to show FIS how the startup has repositioned itself since a recent leadership change.
“When this opportunity to participate in this accelerator came along, I really looked at it as a very unique opportunity for us to elevate our status within FIS and get ourselves more appropriately positioned for who we’ve become as a company today versus the company I took over about a year ago,” said CEO Doug Wilber.
Wilber said that in the past year Gremlin Social, which has 15 employees and approximately 280 customers, has been evolving from being a software provider for smaller financial institutions into offering services for larger banks, mortgage lenders and wealth managers. While the company has previously placed its focus on providing social media compliance offerings for financial institutions, Gremlin has transformed with an emphasis on providing sales-enablement content distribution for bankers, lenders and wealth managers.
“All of the employees who work at a bank, whether that be a mortgage loan officer, a wealth manager, a branch manager, a commercial lender who’s calling on small businesses in the local community, they all have fairly significant social media followings,” Wilber said. “Our tool uniquely offers (institutions) the ability to create, schedule and publish content on behalf of these individuals, but to have that content be managed by the marketing departments.”
Wilber said his startup sees importance in recasting its relationship with FIS through the accelerator program to position the startup as a provider of a unique advertising and sales-enablement tool for large financial services institutions. He sees strong market fit for the Gremlin Social offerings, citing the rise of online banking.
“A lot of these financial institutions are really looking for better tools to connect with prospects and customers, especially in a world where people aren’t going to the branch. People aren’t necessarily showing up at the bank every other Friday to deposit a paycheck,” he said.