Robinhood Markets, Inc., a California-based financial services firm, will invest $11.7 million to establish a customer experience and account operations center in Charlotte, NC. The company will create nearly 400 jobs in Mecklenburg County.
“Charlotte is known for its talented and diverse workforce, making it an easy choice as we looked to expand our operations,” said Alex Mesa, Head of Customer Experience for Robinhood. “We’re confident that Charlotte’s workforce will further contribute to our mission and lower the barriers to investing for all. We’re thrilled to join the Charlotte community.”
Robinhood is a mobile-first investing platform known for pioneering commission-free trading with no account minimums, lowering the barriers for millions of investors to participate in the financial markets. Founded in 2013, Robinhood offers investing in stocks, options, exchange traded funds and cash management products through its brokerage, Robinhood Financial, crypto trading through Robinhood Crypto, and a suite of educational resources for first-time investors interested in building long-term, generational wealth.
“With the second-largest financial center in the nation, North Carolina is one of the fastest growing tech hubs where companies like this know they can flourish,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s efforts to support Robinhood’s decision to locate to North Carolina.
“We welcome Robinhood’s new jobs and investment to North Carolina,” said Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “This expansion is evidence that our exceptional pipeline of diverse and highly-skilled tech talent, along with our budding entrepreneurial landscape, will continue to attract the fintech industry and grow our innovation economy.”
Robinhood’s expansion in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. Over the 12-year life of the grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by more than $800 million. Using a formula that takes into account the tax revenues generated by the 389 new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $3,006,000 spread over 12 years. Payments for all JDIGs only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. By law, JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
Because Robinhood is opening an office in Mecklenburg County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the company’s JDIG agreement will result in the allocation in as much as $1 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business and new jobs. When new jobs are created in a Tier 3 county such as Mecklenburg, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically distressed communities elsewhere in the state. More information on the state’s economic tier designations is available here.
“With this announcement by Robinhood, Charlotte further cements itself as a leading city for the ever-growing fintech industry. Our city’s strong concentration of talent creates an ideal pool for companies who are looking for innovative and skilled workers,” said Tracy Dodson, Assistant City Manager and Economic Development Director. “We’re excited for the new career opportunities that Robinhood’s jobs will provide for our community.”
Along with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the project was a collaborative effort between Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, the North Carolina Community College System, Mecklenburg County, Carolina Fintech Hub, and the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.
Robinhood joins a long line of companies, including Retirement Clearinghouse and Intercontinental Capital Group, that have announced new or expanding fintech and customer service operations in Charlotte over the last year. It also comes on the heels of several transformative announcements, including Arrival’s U.S. headquarters and Microfactory, and Centene’s east coast headquarters.
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