As reported in an article by the Jacksonville Business Journal, Zikher, a fintech company founded in San Francisco, narrowed its search for an East Coast headquarters to Jacksonville. The company hopes to hire 20 people this year as it grows on the First Coast.
“The company came out of my own personal frustration,” founder and CEO Amir Khan told the Business Journal.
Zikher, which has customers primarily on the West Coast, in the Midwest and in Canada, aims to bridge the gap between a loan officer at a bank and a borrower on his computer at home, Khan said. The company has indirect competitors, but it is unique in trying to digitalize the entire lending experience, instead of just mortgages, Khan noted.
Zikher is retaining its San Francisco presence but it knew it needed an East Coast location to be closer to banking innovators, according to Khan.
“The West Coast are followers in banking,” he said. “That innovation is happening on the East Coast.”
Executive Vice President Jason Salvagni outlined three main reasons the 2-year-old company chose Jacksonville: to bring jobs, to give employees a low cost of living and high quality of life and to form partnerships with locally based fintech leaders like Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE: FIS) and Black Knight Inc. (NYSE: BKI).
Salvagni noted the company intends to bring 25 jobs to Jacksonville this year, 20 of which will be new hires. Of the new hires, he estimated two thirds would be sales and business development staff, and a third would be tech staff.
Khan has high goals for Zikher in the next five to 10 years. He hopes to blanket financial institutions in North America and extend into Europe.
“Our secret sauce to fuel expansion is a high degree of customization and our multi-linguistic capability,” he said, noting the platform can function in more than 265 languages.