Business

New building planned for AvidXchange Music Factory. Here’s why – and what to expect.

Months after announcing plans to expand its local workforce, Charlotte financial tech company AvidXchange announced Thursday that it will spend $41 million to double the size of its Charlotte headquarters.

AvidXchange CEO Michael Praeger said the company’s growth is expected to bring an estimated $2.6 billion to the state and city economy over the next five years. The payment automation company, founded in 2000, moved into its current Music Factory building in 2017.

In December, AvidXchange said it plans to hire more than 1,200 people over the next five years, doubling its Charlotte staff.

If it meets its job-creation goals, AvidXchange is slated to receive $19.6 million in state incentives, $3.3 million from the city and county, and $1.7 million in community college training.

In considering sites for its expansion last year, AvidXchange also looked at locations in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas, all of which would have offered the company millions in incentives, according to North Carolina’s Economic Investment Committee.

Building stats

The headquarters expansion will feature a new 201,000-square-foot building connected to its existing building by a central hub, which will include a coffee cafe and 10,000-square-foot rooftop common area.

The $41 million expansion will also include an indoor basketball and volleyball courts, more private meeting rooms, a customer experience center and a career and talent development.

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Courtesy of AvidXchange

Construction on the new building is expected to begin in the next few months, and AvidXchange expects the building to be done by late 2021.

“As our business has grown, so too has the love for the city, and the belief that somehow we can also be part of shaping the skyline of Charlotte,” Praeger said at the Thursday press conference.

“The expansion of our headquarters signifies more than being a rapidly-growing fintech company,” Praeger said in a statement. “It represents the mark Charlotte is making as a center for innovation for other growing technology focused companies.”

AvidXchange also announced a new partnership with SAP Concur, a Washington-based business expense management company.

The partnership allows SAP Concur customers to access electronic payments through the AvidPay Network of over 500,000 suppliers, and gives Concur Invoice customers access to a team of more than 300 AvidXchange employees.

AvidXchange’s growth

AvidXchange, which automates bill payments and invoices for midsize companies, was founded by Praeger in a coffee shop in Charlotte in 2000.

The company’s rapid growth in recent years has been fueled in part by mergers and acquisitions.

In 2017, 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.

Private funding has also helped AvidXchange grow over the years.

In summer 2017, the firm announced a $300 million funding round raised from several big names, including Mastercard and Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal. With the funding, AvidXchange said it would create 200 jobs in 2017 and more than 600 new jobs in Mecklenburg County by the end of 2018.

About two years ago, AvidXchange moved into its new, six-story headquarters at the AvidXchange Music Factory. The 200,000-square-foot facility is equipped with amenities like Xboxes, shuffleboard, multiple gyms and basketball courts.

And last year, AvidXchange opened a new corporate office just south of Salt Lake City, Utah. There, the company plans to spend $35 million to add more than 200 jobs over the next several years.

With an estimated value of $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, according to TechCrunch. Charlotte’s other two unicorns are the digital marketing company Red Ventures and the software company Tresata.

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Hannah Smoot covers business in Charlotte, focusing on aviation and health care. She previously covered money and power at The Rock Hill Herald in South Carolina. She is a lifelong North Carolinian and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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