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Unicorn tech company that made a grand Tampa entrance shuts down

Veronica Brezina



The team at Fast. Photo provided.

The San Fransisco-based fintech startup Fast, which celebrated the opening of its Tampa East Coast hub last year, is closing.  

The startup that provides an online checkout platform took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce its closure. 

“After making great strides on our mission of making [sic] buying and selling frictionless for everyone, we have made the difficult decision to close our doors,” the social media statement from CEO and co-founder Domm Holland read. 

“Sometimes trailblazers don’t make it all the way to the mountain top. But even in those situations, they pave a way that all others will follow. Fast has done that with bringing one-click and headless checkout into the mainstream. Buying online has been forever changed by the incredible team at Fast,” the statement continued, adding how the company was also grateful to its investors.

The startup will permanently discontinue its service on April 15. 

The social media post did not disclose the reason for the closure; however, Tech Crunch reported the company was burning through its cash and its 2021 revenue was $600,000, despite raising $124.5 million since 2019, including the $102 million Series B round it raised in 2021. 

Separate from the company’s Twitter account, Holland wrote on his personal Twitter account, “Start-ups fail for many reasons, of which Fast obviously was not immune. But decisions made that lead [sic] to this outcome which I take responsibility for. But one thing I am 100% certain that we did right was hire truly incredible people.” 

In the short time since the post on Twitter regarding the closure was published, it has been shared by hundreds of people, including businesses that are now trying to scoop up the talent Fast recruited.

“So if you have a chance to hire someone from Fast, do so because they are the most phenomenal people I have and you will have had the pleasure of working with,” Holland wrote on his personal Twitter account. 

Fast had a space at the Industrious coworking space inside Sparkman Wharf and was negotiating for permanent office space in Tampa. 

Holland, who founded the company with Allison Barr Allen in 2019, led the company’s efforts to expand in Tampa. When Fast celebrated the opening of its Tampa last year, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor spoke on how the city is recruiting companies like Fast and how the unicorn company was helping put Tampa on the map. 

The company put on a show for the audience, including a jet ski rider performing tricks by Sparkman Wharf, when it announced it was opening a Tampa hub. Photo by Veronica Brezina.

Fast put on a grand show during the opening celebration with a race car driver performing stunts by Sparkman Wharf and jet ski riders flipping over the waves in the bay. 

In Tampa, the group secured Amalie Arena as its first stadium to work with for Tampa Bay Lighting games and other events, and said it was working with other clients in the sports arena. 

Fast executives said the company was planning to hire up to 260 people and said it wanted many of them to be based in Tampa. 

In addition to becoming a Tampa success story at the time, Holland also joined the board of the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council and also spoke at the 2022 Synapse Summit in Tampa. 

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