Finance and Technology, and never the twain shall meet. There couldn’t be two more star crossed lovers, or two industries more opposite than these. But alas, as Fintech success stories PayPal, Kickstarter, and Palantir have demonstrated, this industry is nothing to sneeze at – they can take on the big banks – and win! The new Fintech model with asset-light workspaces so starkly contrasts the traditional (i.e., wood-paneled) financial infrastructure of days past. FinTech has made its mark on the industry and redefined a new model of financial office space in doing so. If you’re considering starting a FinTech firm, have started one and are looking to scale it, or perhaps are already at critical mass and looking to branch out into the Manhattan professional community, here’s why virtual office space in NYC may be your Fintech firm’s greatest asset.
How do virtual office spaces provide what FinTech firms care about? Virtual offices are great for NYC Fintech firms because they solve the problems that many firms are facing, which are outlined below.
Virtual Offices Accommodate Venture Capital Funding Time Horizons
As many Fintech firms are funded by venture capitalists, the time horizon can range anywhere from 3 to 10 years. For longer time horizons, this will mean that the firm is likely to go through some kind of a blip on the economic screen, whether major or minor. Not every VC firm is going to wait patiently for results to happen, so the minute the first check is written the pressure is on!
While healthy growth is something that businesses want, many Fintech firms have no choice but to get results rapidly or risk having the plug pulled. And the implications can be serious not just for the business but also for the principals of the firm, who may end up with liens, debt, and even face bankruptcy if an interruption occurs.
Virtual office spaces provide instant access to a business address and, many times for an additional fee, a phone number. A Fintech firm won’t have to worry about the long NYC office space search process or putting up large amounts of capital for a security deposit. And forget about having to deal with tough NYC landlords who command pristine rental history for Class A space. Many virtual office packages comes with access to some NYC coworking space. Although in many cases you’ll have to pay additionally for meeting space, it still beats having to Skype or conference virtually when you want to make a positive impression on a potential client.
It’s also useful to consider the flexibility that a virtual office provides. As funding may wax or wane, the last thing a Fintech firm wants is to be held to a long term, binding lease. To break it, they’d either have to pay a heavy fee or find a company to sublet. Often when this happens, the firm plummets into a desperate search which ends with settling for terms that are well below the price per square foot that they leased the property for. Most virtual office packages are for temporary, short term rentals which is a welcome feature for the Fintech community.
Virtual Offices Provide a Diverse Network of Peers and Partners
For many Fintech firms, having to partner with and serve the conservative, and slow-moving financial sector can be a thorn in the side. For this reason, access to the right network is a big asset for Fintech firms. There’s no telling what kind of professional a Fintech firm will need to come into contact with to meet their needs for raising capital, find new clients, complying with regulations, or even finding new talent. The days of having one major partner on a deal are done; Fintech firms need a variety of partners in order to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. For example, having access to multiple funding sources can provide a Fintech firm with the time needed to establish a brand and track record.
Many virtual office packages allow the client to participate in networking events held at the center. A Fintech firm can benefit from meeting the right lawyers who can advise them on, for example, the quickest way to get licensed and comply with regulations for offering a new product that they are launching. Interacting with a vibrant network in the heart of New York City may just turn up some client leads as well!
Virtual Office Spaces are Technology Focused
For a Fintech firm, mobile access is the lifeblood of the business. Without the Internet, there is no pulse, no action, and no money coming in the door. While many startup firms opt for the cheaper option of working from home, there are risks that go along with that. Internet service disruptions due to construction (e.g., home renovation happening in the apartment downstairs) are common in places which are not typically designated for business. What’s more, there may be some security issues when accessing the Internet through gateways that aren’t protected by business class firewalls.
Most virtual offices comes with the option to work from private day offices, if need be, and the technology in the average business center is most likely much higher quality than what the average residential apartment complex offers.
Virtual Office Space Won’t Kill a Fintech Firm’s Budget
This one doesn’t need much explanation. Suffice it to say that the branding of your firm does depends heavily on two factors: your business address and your business phone number. Having a downtown or midtown based office with a 212 number says something about how seriously somebody should take you, if you are trying to convey the idea that you mean business.
In the example of NYC virtual office provider Corporate Suites, whose tagline is “elegant, discrete, and secure”, NYC virtual office packages start as low as $89/month. Because the company has business center locations at 22 Cortlandt Street, the NYC financial hub, as well as Corporate Suites’ several Class A midtown spaces, have become quite popular with not only Fintech but also traditional financial firms.
Business Image Boost for Fintech and Traditional Finance
While Fintech companies are vastly different from traditional finance firms, hedge funds, RIA firms, investment managers, and financial planning companies can reap the benefits of shared office space as well. To quote a Corporate Suites client who runs the operations at a thriving hedge fund, “The front desk is friendly, always smiling, and ready to help. They are a big reason we just recently renewed our lease for another 18 months.” The hedge fund has benefited from the business image that being in the 2 Park Avenue location has created, both in terms of the cache of the building and also being part of a high quality professional business community.
Setting Up a FinTech Virtual Office Space
So how exactly would a Fintech firm get started with virtual office space?
The first step is determining your strategy. What type of amenities are you looking for? Some companies are at the stage where they need just need an address where they can get mail, whereas others need occasional meeting space, access to coworking, juicy networking events, and a virtual receptionist to answer the phone in your company’s name.
With 8 NYC locations, including midtown and the downtown financial district, Corporate Suites is a great place for FinTech firms who want to be close to the action. Elegant, discreet, and secure, email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your private tour.