A growing financial tech app has picked Tampa for its first office outside its home base of Minneapolis, establishing the city as a key hub in its plans for nationwide expansion.
Branch, a platform designed to give employees faster access to their pay, plans to hire 20 to 30 sales, engineering, marketing and customer support workers for its new office at the Industrious shared workspace in Ybor City.
Andrew Johnson, Branch’s vice president of revenue, said the company will look at a permanent office, but is in such rapid growth mode right now that a flexible workspace makes the most sense.
“We chose Tampa because we think there’s an incredible opportunity,” he said. “It’s a growing community, we see a lot of tech talent down there, a lot of additional tech hubs. Other tech companies have done the same thing.”
Branch has 120 employees nationwide; Johnson said the company plans to double that this year. This month, it closed a $75 million round of fundraising, which followed rounds of $48 million in 2021 and $10 million in 2017. It also secured a $500 million credit facility last August.
The company counts among its clients Domino’s, Jimmy John’s and Uber Freight. Last-mile delivery is a target sector, Johnson said, especially during the pandemic, as touch-free payments grew more popular. Employers can distribute payments, from daily tips to regular paychecks, directly into a worker’s Branch account; from there, employees can spend the money directly or deposit it into another account of their choice.
Leading Branch’s Tampa hiring efforts is director of sales development Max Sakiewicz, who came from PandaDoc, a San Francisco company with a sizeable presence in St. Petersburg. He moved to Tampa Bay more than three years ago and has witnessed firsthand the area’s tech boom since then.
“So many tech companies have come in, have come down here and built a really nice tech hub and a really cool community of people,” he said. “That is what aligns Branch so much to come down here, because there’s been so much growth in Tampa. I think it’s a great place for a company to come and grow, too, as the city continues to grow at a pretty crazy rate.”
While Branch has embraced remote work, Sakiewicz said Tampa Bay’s talent pool has grown so much that he expects he won’t have to look far to fill the new office.
“I think the majority of the talent that I’ll go about hiring for my team and building out my world will come from the Tampa-St. Pete area,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll have to go that far outside where we are now in terms of a radius. A lot of the talent’s already down here.”