Fast-growing fintech company Figure expands presence in Reno
RENO, Nev. — In December 2018, financial technology company Figure joined the wave of companies to expand from the Bay Area to the Biggest Little City.
Settling into a 5,000-square-foot downtown office, the business launched its Reno operations with 17 full-time employees, with management at the time unveiling grandiose plans for future growth — to the tune of filling an extra 240 jobs over the next several years.
A little more than a year later, the company is well on its way to realizing those goals.
Figure has not only moved its headquarters into a 12,500-square-foot office in downtown Reno, it employs roughly 75 people — the majority being Northern Nevadans — in a wide range of roles, including operations, compliance, risk, finance and engineers.
“Since things were working well in Reno, it didn’t make sense to expand somewhere else,” June Ou, Figure’s COO, told the NNBW. “And the reason we’re expanding is because our business has grown — we’ve added a few more consumer products, and we’re significantly growing the blockchain-type of business. So, there’s a lot of growth that’s happening in the company.”
The Reno-headquartered tech firm uses blockchain technology, AI and advanced analytics to deliver products, including home equity lines of credit, mortgage refinance and student loan refinance.
Figure’s home equity line, for example, promises approval in five minutes and funding in five days in a process that is entirely digital.
The firm was co-founded in January 2018 by Mike Cagney, the founder and former CEO of SoFi, along with Alana Ackerson, Cynthia Chen, Sara Priola and Ou.
This week, the company officially celebrated its growth in the Biggest Little City with a ribbon-cutting ceremony inside its new headquarters at 100 West Liberty Street.
Mike Kazmierski, CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, said Figure is “exactly” the kind of company EDAWN works to attract to the greater Reno-Sparks area.
“It’s such a great fit for our region and we’re excited to see them continue to grow,” Kazmierski said during the Feb. 18 press conference. “When we deal with these new technology companies looking at our region, the first thing they say is, ‘Well is anyone else here?’ We show them the long list of technology companies in the region.
“And when we can tell them stories like this of companies that have come here and grown here with the talent in the region, it really buttresses the story that this is the place that’s growing when it comes to technology.”
Figure projects to grow to 125 employees by the end of the year, said Ou, adding that the company just started efforts to build a “pretty significant” mortgage sale center in Reno.
When asked, Ou said hiring a strong local workforce has not been a challenge for Figure, which she noted gives in-house training.
Looking ahead, Figure — which also has offices in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia and Helena, Montana — still plans to hire a total of roughly 250 employees in Reno over the next several years.
Factoring in bonuses, benefits and a 401(k) program, the average wage for Figure employees is $40 per hour.
To show his gratitude for what Figure is contributing to Northern Nevada’s fast-growing economy, Gov. Steve Sisolak attended the Feb. 18 ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“I appreciate that Figure and June have brought their innovative and financial ingenuity to the sector and most importantly focused on hiring local people,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said. “These are local folks that have found jobs as a result of Figure being placed here.
“These are the kinds of jobs that my administration is focused on attracting. Not minimum wage jobs. Family-supporting career jobs.”
On April 1, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak formally issued a “Stay at Home” directive for Nevadans and extended closures of nonessential businesses, gambling and school closures to April 30.