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Fintech startup opens hub in Tampa, ‘the next Austin’

Veronica Brezina

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Andrew Johnson, vice president of revenue at Branch. All photos are courtesy of Branch.

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

Branch, which provides on-demand digital payments for companies, has opened its Tampa office inside the Industrious Ybor co-working space – making it Branch’s first office to open outside of its headquarters. 

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

Johnson said the other sites the company was evaluating against Tampa included Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina. 

“To me, when I look at Tampa it’s what Austin was maybe five or six years ago and now Austin is a little over-saturated,” Johnson said. “Tampa sounds like a tight-knit community that can offer collaborations we are looking for.”

Cathie Wood of ARK Invest also made similar remarks comparing Austin to the area when she recently decided to relocate her HQ from New York to St. Petersburg. 

“Tampa has become a magnet for innovative, tech companies, and we’re thrilled to welcome Branch to America’s friendliest community,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in the company’s news release. 

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

One of Branch’s largest clients is Uber Freight. Branch helps Uber pay its truckers faster through its platform. With other clients, such as Jimmy John’s and Domino’s, it also provides digital cashless tips. 

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

The startup, founded in 2015, currently has over 120 employees located across the country. Johnson said the company has hired a sales development director for Tampa, and Branch is actively looking to hire 20 to 30 additional employees. The available positions, which are a mix of in-office and remote work, are in sales, engineering, marketing and customer support. 

“We have embraced remote working and we don’t plan to lose that, but we wanted to bring back the positivity of being in an office at the same time,” Johnson said, adding how a co-working space fit into the hybrid workforce plans. 

“What we like about the co-working space is it allows us to scale up faster and we have the flexibility because we aren’t locked into a traditional three-year office space,” Johnson said.  

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Brian Kelly

    March 29, 2022at4:16 pm

    Yes, and look what happened to poor Austin. And Boise. And Seattle way before that. And now Tampa Bay. Like locusts or carpetbaggers, the vastly overpaid, uptight and Adderall-laced mindless Tech Horde descends on one unsuspecting city after another, jacking up its real estate so only millionaires can afford it; bringing overpriced restaurants serving the same haute cuisine from the next would-be celebrity chef; homogenizing the landscape with one dreary hi-rise box after another, all with sugary sweet names that mean nothing. Yeah, how wonderful.

  2. Avatar

    Paul

    March 29, 2022at7:37 pm

    Earlier this week, St Pete Catalyst ran a story about St. Petersburg having a perception problem and this is (likely) a perfect example. A Minnesota company gushing about Tampa, probably incorrectly thinking that those in St. Pete also call themselves “Tampa”.

    And then, a correlation to ARK – a company that is moving to St. Petersburg, not Tampa. But…..click on the ARK story and Cathie Wood is asked “what attracted you to Tampa Bay?” not “what attracted you to St. Petersburg?” What was the question about perception again?

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