A transformative technology company combining the financial and technology sectors--or, FinTech--is coming to Wilmington and promising to bring with it almost 400 jobs.
Investor Cash Management (ICM) will invest $15.37 million into their new Wilmington-based headquarters after receiving $4.25 million in taxpayer-funded considerations through the Delaware Strategic Fund, though ICM's expansion plans include providing 395 jobs over the next three years--13 times the size of its current 30-persons staff, officials said.
"We're just grateful and humbled to be here. After an extensive search--our roots are in Chicago. Chicago is a good home to us--we looked at Florida, we looked at Texas, we looked at Connecticut. But we have no doubt whatsoever, intending no disrespect to others, that this is the right place for us," said ICM founder and CEO Fred Phillips.
The company, which just got its start in 2018, debuted during an unveiling of their plans at at press conference at 1201 North Market Street on December 14, 2021. Phillips described the company as transforming funds into both "fully liquid and fully invested" assets. He touted it is the youngest tech company to have ever received investment from Visa.
In a press release from the state, officials described the company as a "platform as a service (PaaS) provider in the fintech space, ICM uses an application programming interface--or API-driven technology--to link cash management accounts directly to specified investments, transforming investment products such as mutual funds, exchange traded funds and/or shares into digital transaction currencies. The technology combines banking, investing and payments to drive client acquisition and increase assets."
Mayor Mike Purzycki said he was happy to have the company finding its home here in the city.
"I think it's the jobs. It's the addition to our city economically, but it's also symbolic of the city's appeal to people who could have gone anywhere in the entire country and they came here to Wilmington," said Purzycki on Tuesday. "We think that's pretty empowering. It makes you feel really confident that what you're doing is the right thing."
The move just makes sense, said Gov. John Carney, who believed it's Wilmington's pool of talent with seemingly endless depth. He said ICMs arrival is just the latest in a long list of companies that recognize the people that make the First State attractive.
"We need to change and compete every day. And one of the areas where we believe we have great strength, and where we can be competitive, is in the financial services sector," Carney said. "We have a great talent base here in Delaware, created initially by some of the larger banks and financial services institutions. We have a great tech sector...So that merger of those two into a FinTech sector has been really an important opportunity for us."
As an additional bonus, the firm will be partnering with Delaware State University, which offers financial management tools, products, and services to its students, faculty, staff, and alumni, with the school's stated goal being increasing financial literacy particularly for unbanked or underbanked minorities.
"What we want to do, and what indeed we've done--among our partners are Delaware State [and university President] Tony Allen, who has just been wonderfully supportive--is to look at how it is that we can go ahead and solve the most fundamental of economic problem," Phillips said. "Which is, 'What is it that we should do with our money?'"