CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Stock trading firm Robinhood is expanding operations to Charlotte in a move that will create nearly 400 new jobs in Mecklenburg County.
The California-based financial services firm will invest $11.7 million to establish an office in Charlotte focused on customer experience roles.
“With the second-largest financial center in the nation, North Carolina is one of the fastest growing tech hubs where companies like this know they can flourish,” said Governor Cooper.
Robinhood is an investing and stock trading brokerage firm that operates mostly through a mobile app. The platform is known for pioneering commission-free trading with no account minimums, lowering the barriers for millions of investors to participate in the financial markets.
The new positions will include analysts, customer service staff, and operations personnel. The average annual salary for all new positions exceeds Mecklenburg County’s overall average annual wage of $71,689, creating a potential payroll impact of more than $29.7 million per year.
Founded in 2013, Robinhood offers investing in stocks, options, exchange traded funds and cash management products through its brokerage, Robinhood Financial, crypto trading through Robinhood Crypto, and a suite of educational resources for first-time investors interested in building long-term, generational wealth.
“Charlotte is known for its talented and diverse workforce, making it an easy choice as we looked to expand our operations,” said Alex Mesa, Head of Customer Experience for Robinhood. “We’re confident that Charlotte’s workforce will further contribute to our mission and lower the barriers to investing for all. We’re thrilled to join the Charlotte community.”
Robinhood was recently in the news over a controversy about restrictions enacted after an unexpected boost in GameStop trading. Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev apologized during a Congressional hearing in February as members of Congress excoriated him, and the firm is facing dozens of lawsuits.
Earlier in 2021, Robinhood announced an added a live customer phone line and other customer support features. The news came just weeks after a CBS News investigation detailed customer service practices that left users to navigate high-risk trades by themselves.
“We welcome Robinhood’s new jobs and investment to North Carolina,” said Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “This expansion is evidence that our exceptional pipeline of diverse and highly-skilled tech talent, along with our budding entrepreneurial landscape, will continue to attract the fintech industry and grow our innovation economy.”
Robinhood’s expansion in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today.
Over the 12-year life of the grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by more than $800 million.
Using a formula that takes into account the tax revenues generated by the 389 new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $3,006,000 spread over 12 years. Payments for all JDIGs only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. By law, JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
Because Robinhood is opening an office in Mecklenburg County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the company’s JDIG agreement will result in the allocation in as much as $1 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business and new jobs. When new jobs are created in a Tier 3 county such as Mecklenburg, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically distressed communities elsewhere in the state. More information on the state’s economic tier designations is available here.