The Charlotte tech company AvidXchange plans to hire more than 1,200 people over the next five years, more than doubling its local footprint, officials said Tuesday.
In Raleigh, N.C.’s Economic Investment Committee approved $19.6 million in state incentives Tuesday afternoon, shortly before Gov. Roy Cooper detailed the AvidXchange expansion in Charlotte at the company’s headquarters. He said AvidXchange is investing $41 million in the move.
The company will also get $3.3 million from the city and county, plus $1.7 million in community college training, the Economic Investment Committee said.
In exchange for the incentives, AvidXchange will hire 1,229 workers over the next five years. The new jobs will include software development, financial, marketing and professional services personnel, and the average wage for each will be $68,569, the company said.
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AvidXchange “could have gone anywhere in the world,” Cooper said. “But AvidXchange knew the people of Charlotte, knew the people of North Carolina and the quality of the workforce.” The challenge, Cooper said, is for the state to continue to provide the education and worker training such companies require.
“This is a historic day for AvidXchange,” CEO Michael Praeger said at the event with the governor, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and other local officials.
Praeger said he wants his company, which automates bill payments and invoices for midsize companies, to be “a catalyst to help turn Charlotte into a tech town.” The company’s expansion, Prager said, works to advance that goal.
Praeger founded AvidXchange in 2000, and the company’s been growing rapidly over the years. About a year and a half ago, AvidXchange moved into its new, six-story headquarters at the AvidXchange Music Factory. The 200,000-square-foot facility is tricked out with amenities like Xboxes, shuffleboard, multiple gyms and basketball courts.
AvidXchange currently employs about 1,200 people in Charlotte.
The company also had considered Oklahoma City, Okla., which offered $3.5 million in incentives, The Woodlands, Texas, which offered $11.3 million, and Kansas City, Kansas, which offered $28.9 million, according to the Economic Investment Committee.
In announcing AvidXchange’s package, the committee also approved $6.5 million for the state’s utility account, which helps rural counties fund infrastructure projects. AvidXchange has requested that 30 percent of its net new employees have the option to work from home, though the home has to be in North Carolina, the Economic Investment Committee noted.
This year, AvidXchange opened a second headquarters in Utah. The company planned to expand jobs at that office, including software development, product development and customer support, the CEO said at the time.
Valued at $1.4 billion as of last summer, AvidXchange is one of Charlotte’s so-called unicorns, a term for a privately held company with a valuation of at least $1 billion.
The city’s other unicorns include the digital marketing company Red Ventures and the software company Tresata.
Mergers and acquisitions have helped fuel AvidXchange’s rapid growth over the years.
Last year, for instance, AvidXchange acquired a Massachusetts firm called Ariett, a private company that specializes in technology that lets businesses automate processes and manage employee expenses.
Tuesday’s announcement isn’t the first time in recent years that AvidXchange has received incentives in exchange for creating jobs.
When it announced a $300 million round of funding in June 2017, the company said that it would add more than 600 jobs in Charlotte by the end of 2018. The expansion was backed in part by an incentives award of more than $7.5 million to AvidXchange from the state’s Job Development Investment Grant program.
Other job moves
AvidXchange marks the latest in a string of high-profile economic development announcements in Charlotte.
This month, Charlotte-based LendingTree announced plans to add over 400 jobs, nearly doubling its local footprint, in exchange for $8.37 million in state incentives.
A week before that announcement, manufacturing tech giant Honeywell said it would relocate its headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte, a move made possible in large part by more than $80 million in incentives from the state, county and city combined.
And in June, the Charlotte City Council approved $13.4 million in incentives for Amazon to bring a distribution center and 1,500 jobs near Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Observer reporter Joe Marusak contributed