Chicago-based CoinFlip will open an office in the city's Water Street Tampa district, joining a rush of tech companies coming to town.
A Chicago-based cryptocurrency company is expanding into Tampa and plans to hire 40 people in the next several months.
The company, CoinFlip, announced Thursday morning it will move into offices in Sparkman Wharf next year. It will take 8,000 square feet in the office and retail development in the Water Street Tampa district.
This is the first office outside Chicago for the financial services company with a focus on cryptocurrency as it looks to expand offerings, reach new demographics and tap into a new talent pool.
But it’s not just opening an office in Tampa.
CoinFlip CEO Ben Weiss says the center, like the company’s entire operation, is geared toward demystifying crypto currency by making the transaction more relatable to the average consumer.
To that end, the space will include a Crypto Experience Center. The center, which the company says is the first of its kind in the U.S., will help teach the community about cryptocurrency and help provide information on purchasing digital currencies using one of the it’s on-site Bitcoin ATMs. (You put cash in to buy and pull cash out when you sell.)
“In the early days of crypto, you had a lot of libertarians, a lot of techies, a lot of young people," Weiss says. "But now you see the average population wanting to get into crypto. People like my mom who want to get into crypto and who, I think, really appreciate that physical aspect.”
Those 40 employees at the office, when it opens, will focus on engineering and tech.
CoinFlip had a five-year growth rate of 1.7 million percent, revenue of nearly $100 million in 2021 and was ranked No. 60 on the Inc. 5000 list, according to a statement. The company currently has more than 3,500 ATMs in 49 states.
Weiss says the company chose Tampa after looking at several other localities but was attracted to the city because of its workforce and potential.
“We looked at a lot of cities. We wanted a place that was sort of on the (way) up, where we would be considered a large company and where there was a lot of talent,” he says.
“I mean, the University of Tampa has a great engineering program, and we really looked at the talent pool. You know, obviously, there’s a lot of excitement in Florida. And there’s a lot of excitement in Tampa. So we wanted a place with a great talent pool and a place where we can make an impact.”
CoinFlip is the second tech company in as many weeks to announce it had leased space in Sparkman Wharf. The cybersecurity firm Rapid7 has leased 42,500 square feet, taking two floors in the development. It expects to begin moving later this year and plans to add 100 jobs.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor says in a press release about CoinFlip that Tampa’s “reputation as a top tech city is growing, and I’m confident our strong talent pool will be a great resource for the company as it looks to expand in the area.
“Not only is Tampa an engineering hub, but we are also quickly becoming a center for all things crypto.”
Water Street is a $3 billion, 56-acre, mixed-use development just south of downtown Tampa. When completed, the development, being built on land once mostly made up of parking lots, is expected to bring nine million square feet of new construction that will include commercial, residential, hospitality, entertainment and retail space.
The project’s developer, Strategic Property Partners, is a joint venture between investor and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment LLC.