Fintech grows into Art Deco HQ in SoMa

Finix takes 42K sf, bets on personal interactions at physical office as other companies shed space

Finix's Richie Serna with at 631 Howard St (Mark Calvey, SF Business Times, LinkedIn, iStock)
Finix's Richie Serna with at 631 Howard St (Mark Calvey, SF Business Times, LinkedIn, iStock)

Finix, a payments company based in San Francisco, has moved its headquarters into a larger office as other firms trim office space to work from home.

The financial tech firm has placed a bet on 631 Howard St., a century-old Art Deco building in SoMa, the San Francisco Business Times reported. It moved out of a smaller office in South Park

Finix leased 42,349 square feet, taking up the ground floor, basement and a mezzanine with several conference rooms. Executives point to personal interaction fueling innovation as a key reason to keep offices in the city.

“We’re definitely doubling down on San Francisco,” Richie Serna, its co-founder and CEO, told the business journal. “We’ve always thought that company culture was one of our biggest competitive advantages. For us, that means getting together in an office to build this type of community.”

Finix, founded in 2015, is a fintech startup with a payment processing platform for businesses. It has 156 employees, some of whom work remotely around the country.

It raised $75 million in an extended Series B round in August 2020 that included Lightspeed Venture Partners and American Express Ventures.

Its new Art Deco headquarters, built the year of the market crash of 1929, has 18-foot glass windows on the ground floor. The light, as well as the open space, were big draws to what Serna calls an “iconic building.”

Serna said he wants to use the space to host other groups, such as next month’s gathering of the Cap Table Coalition, which is seeking to diversify startups’ investor bases to include more women, people of color as well as Indigenous and LGBTQ people.

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“We wanted people to be eager to come into work,” he said. “After two years of being remote, there’s really no substitute for the serendipitous innovation interactions that you get by bringing people together.

“By bringing people together, you can feel the energy and excitement — and that’s half the fun of building a startup.”

Not every company is as committed to personal interaction as a spark toward new technologies.

TaskRabbit, a worker-for-hire platform with more than 300 employees, announced this week it would be closing its San Francisco headquarters and all its physical offices to work remotely. Before the pandemic, its corporate office took up nearly 20,000 square feet over three floors.

Now the IKEA-owned firm will pull up stakes from its downsized headquarters of 7,500 square feet at 425 2nd St. in Rincon Hill, according to media reports.

The Fixit relocation follows recent corporate moves by Ripple, Splunk, Wells Fargo, and the State Bar of California, to mostly downsize to smaller offices in favor of a hybrid office and work-from-home employee model.

[San Francisco Business Times] – Dana Bartholomew

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