Silicon Valley fintech sets sights on major Vancouver expansion

Tipalti plans to hire up to 60 additional workers in Vancouver by end of 2021

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A Silicon Valley fintech flush with fresh cash is looking to fill out its Vancouver roster just over a year after setting up shop in the city.

Tipalti Inc. is planning to hire 50-60 workers in Vancouver on top of about 300 new workers across its global offices.

The company specializing in automating the payables process is coming off a Series E funding round that raised US$150 million in September 2020.

On top of that, Tipalti raised US$76 million in 2019 from investors in a funding round led by Zeev Ventures.

CEO Chen Amit told BIV last January the goal was to build a 50-person workforce in Vancouver.

The current Vancouver headcount sits at 30 employees, while the additions due by the end of the year would bring it to 80-90 employees.

A Tipalti spokeswoman tells BIV the company will be looking to Vancouver to fill out open positions in sales and operations.

Chen said in 2020 his company was all-in on Vancouver after hiring a consulting firm that evaluated 940 cities to find the best fit for Tipalti.

“It [Vancouver] actually came out on top in terms of all the metrics we cared about,” Amit said, citing factors such as availability of talent and a location within a three hours’ flight of the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

It remains to be seen how much the proximity between California and B.C. will be a factor ahead of mass vaccinations, but throngs of American firms have taken a liking to Vancouver. 

Access to top-tier universities and the large talent pool paid in Canadian dollars at lower comparable salaries than their American counterparts have been particularly enticing, according to David Raffa, president of Valeo Corporate Finance Ltd.

And while big companies like Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP) have backed away from plans to set up significant physical offices in Vancouver amid the pandemic, a Tipalti chief marketing officer Rob Israch told BIV last year the company remains committed to its Vancouver presence.

Tipalti reported earlier this week revenue is up more than 85% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared with the same period a year earlier.

It processed US$18 billion in transactions for the second half of 2020 — up from the US$11 billion in transactions processed during the first half of 2020.