Fintech start-up opens hub in Tampa, ‘the next Austin’ • St Pete Catalyst

A Minneapolis-based tech company known for its workforce payment platform opened its Tampa hub this month after closing multiple funding rounds.

Branch, which provides on-demand digital payments to businesses, opened its Tampa office in the Industrious Ybor coworking space, making it Branch’s first office to open outside of its headquarters.

“We saw a good opportunity to put our hub here, especially around sales, and saw how Tampa has a great tech community,” said Andrew Johnson, vice president of revenue at Pluggedwho oversees the local office.

Johnson said other locations the company is evaluating against Tampa include Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

“For me, when I look at Tampa, that’s what Austin was like maybe five or six years ago and now Austin is kind of oversaturated,” Johnson said. “Tampa looks like a tight-knit community that can deliver the collaborations we’re looking for.”

ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood also made similar remarks comparing Austin to the area when she recently decided to move her headquarters from New York to St. Petersburg.

“Tampa has become a magnet for innovative technology companies, and we are thrilled to welcome Plugged to America’s friendliest community,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in the company’s press release.

An image of the Branch application showing a direct deposit transaction.

One of Branch’s biggest customers is Uber Freight. Branch helps Uber pay its drivers faster with its platform. Along with other customers, such as Jimmy John’s and Domino’s, it also provides cashless digital advice.

The news of Branch opening the Tampa location comes after the company closed a Series C funding round of $75 million earlier this month, following a previous Series B raise of $48 million. dollars.

The startup, founded in 2015, currently has more than 120 employees spread across the country. Johnson said the company has hired a sales development manager for Tampa and Branch is actively looking to hire 20 to 30 additional employees. The positions available, which combine working in the office and working remotely, are in sales, engineering, marketing and customer support.

“We’ve embraced remote working and don’t plan on losing it, but we wanted to bring back the positivity of being in an office at the same time,” Johnson said, adding how a coworking space fits into the main. -Hybrid artwork. plans.

“What we love about the coworking space is that it allows us to scale faster and we have the flexibility because we’re not locked into a traditional three-year-old office space,” said Johnson.

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