Growing FinTech Trend Finds Startups Going Bi-Coastal
Since the 1970s, there’s been no question about where the capital of technology has been in the United States: Silicon Valley. Today, Northern California and specifically the Bay Area is home to a plethora of startups, including some well-known FinTechs. However a growing trend suggests that some of these disruptors are branching out and looking east. As Bloomberg reports, several financial technology firms have been expanding their New York operations as well.
Among those leading the way in this regard is Stripe, the payments processor currently valued at more than $35 billion. Having opened an NYC office this past September, the company told Bloomberg it intends to hire hundreds of workers for that office in the years ahead. Regarding the eastern expansion, Stripe’s chief technology officer David Singleton said, “New York is a global leader. It’s just an important market for entrepreneurialism and startups.”
Of course, while Stripe may be the largest FinTech looking to The Big Apple, they’re not alone. For example the FinTech financing company Affirm recent opened a Manhattan office, which currently staffs around 50 people. Meanwhile Plaid — a service that powers secure banking data connections for dozens of financial apps — says about a quarter of its workforce is now New York-based. Incidentally that company actually started their journey in New York before heading west. Commenting on the homecoming of sorts and observing what’s changed since then, Plaid’s Charley Ma New York City growth manager said, “Us coming back and building a really big presence is a strong signal for NYC tech, which has made huge strides in terms of client base, talent, and funding.”
This apparent trend really speaks to the two halves of the “FinTech” equation. While many of these startups had previously identified with the technology side, it seems some are now finding Wall Street know-how to be valuable for the financial aspects of their operations. Thus splitting their workforce between Silicon Valley and Manhattan allows them to work much like the two sides of one brain.
To be clear none of the startups or others that Bloomberg spoke with expressed plans to leave the Golden State nor make their East Coast offices their primary locations. Therefore don’t expect New York City to rival Silicon Valley for tech supremacy anytime soon. Still it is definitely interesting to see how the FinTech sector is developing and truly embracing both the Fin and the Tech on a geographic scale.