What do Charlotte, NC, and Salt Lake City, Utah, have in common? A lot, if you ask AvidXchange CEO Michael Praeger — which is why the startup saw both locations as a great home base for operations in those respective parts of the country: Charlotte for the East Coast and now Salt Lake City for the West.
After four years of growing its presence in the Salt Lake region, AvidXchange has moved into a new facility — part of a $35 million investment it’s making in growing its office in the region.
According to Praeger, the two locations have a strong startup mentality, both in terms of the workers themselves and when it comes to public and private investors willing to back FinTech companies.
Praeger said the tech culture is similar in Charlotte and Salt Lake, with nearby Silicon Valley feeding talent into the startup’s West Coast base of operations up the “Silicon Slopes.” He noted that Adobe, eBay and Amazon are all looking at establishing a presence in this area as well.
Salt Lake City’s tech boom began around two decades ago when a consortium of people from the Bay Area relocated to support the city’s tech development. After a few establishing years, Salt Lake City has enjoyed around 12 to 14 years as a hotbed for business growth, Praeger said.
AvidXchange first established an office in Salt Lake City in 2014 after acquiring Piracle to advance into new verticals, including construction. Together, AvidXchange and Piracle have been growing into new markets together, combining their powers in real estate and construction to grow faster as a team.
Since 2014, Praeger said the West Coast office has tripled in size, providing redundancy of not only sales and customer support but also for core operations that were previously based solely out of Charlotte.
Redundancy is important, he said, because it means the limitations of functions and time zones go away — or, at least, are reduced. With an office in the time zone, the startup can extend how it works with and supports customers in the western time zone. The duplication also creates business continuity in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane disrupting one of the offices, Praeger said.
But he’s quick to add that the western expansion isn’t all about redundancy. Thanks to the strong tech culture out there, AvidXchange has been growing its development team, which really is an investment across the whole business, said Praeger. The startup has established three teams and just hired four new developers in the Salt Lake City office.