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Friday, Mar 1, 2024

Finfare Eyes Further Office Expansion

Finfare Inc. is in growth mode.

The Irvine-based fintech startup, which helps small businesses manage their finances, is hoping to almost double its workforce from 60 to 100 employees by the end of the year.

Those employees will be housed in Finfare’s new 70,964-square-foot office in the airport area of Irvine at 17900 Von Karman Ave.

Property records indicate the space, located in the Main Corporate Center, was bought for $16.9 million, or about $238 per square foot. The transaction was the largest office sale in the John Wayne Airport area since January, according to data from real estate market tracker CoStar Group Inc.

Finfare is already looking to buy up even more space in the area to accommodate its growing workforce.

By the end of 2025, the startup envisions having 500 to 600 employees in Orange County.

“We’re looking to grow this company very aggressively,” CEO Wayne Lin told the Business Journal.

Fintech Hub

Finfare joins a growing fintech startups scene in OC.

The area is home to Irvine-based micro-investing app Acorns Grow Inc., which reported $6.3 billion in assets under management as of the first quarter this year.

An earlier stage local fintech company is Newport Beach-based ATM.com, which, like Acorns, was co-founded by local investment banking pioneer Walter Cruttenden.

Credit monitoring app Float is also based in Newport Beach, though its founder, Max Ukropina, may step down as CEO if he wins his run for Congress in California’s 47th district, which includes Irvine, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Seal Beach.

Young Company

For a startup with 60 employees, Finfare is relatively young.

The 18-month-old startup was incorporated in late 2021, but started operations in early 2022.

It secured $20 million in seed funding when it first launched, some of which was provided by Lin himself.

Lin attributes Finfare’s rapid growth to his prior experience as an entrepreneur and a VC investor.

According to his LinkedIn account, Lin runs lighting manufacturer Cocoweb, the Taiwan Vision Foundation and is on the board of biopharma company Polaris Pharmaceuticals.

Small Business Assistant

Lin’s board work opened his eyes to challenges small businesses face.

“Expense management and expense control makes a huge difference in any company’s bottom line,” Lin said. “It’s an area that’s very underserved.”

With Finfare, small businesses can obtain corporate credit cards without the use of owners’ personal credit. Small business owners typically secure corporate cards from credit companies by providing their personal credit as a reference.

Instead, at Finfare, “we rely on the business, revenue and cash flow,” Lin said.
The startup also offers programs that ensure money spent on the corporate credit card is directly to business.

Lastly, Finfare provides an accounting software, which aims to reduce the time small business owners spend on manual bookkeeping.

Local Customers

Around 100 Orange County-based small businesses will receive the beta version of Finfare this month.

“Right now, we are focusing 100% in Orange County,” Lin said.

A public launch for the platform is set for October.

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