Investor Cash Management, a three-year-old financial services technology startup, is planning to build its headquarters in downtown Wilmington after being awarded $4.3 million in taxpayer grants on Monday.
ICM will invest up to $15 million in the facility and plans to employ 395 people.
The startup boasts what it calls a “transformative technology” that can change securities such as mutual funds or ETFs into digital transaction currencies. It allows users to make investments while maintaining the immediate liquidity provided by a typical bank account.
“The problem that we solve is the most fundamental of economic problems, ‘What should I do with my money?’ ” said ICM CEO and Founder Fred Phillips.
Its mobile app and web portal, which are currently being offered to a handful of wealth management firms and non-profits, can act as a sole bank account with no fees or minimum balances or can be used to allocate money in investments rather than leaving money in low-interest checking or savings accounts.
Founded in 2018, ICM is currently based in Chicago and employs 30 people. The company has a lease at the office tower at 1201 N. Market into 2023. It will look for a new location in Wilmington to build its headquarters in the middle of next year, Phillips said.
The taxpayer grants, awarded Monday by the state’s Council on Development Finance, will support immediate improvements and the eventual headquarters.
“The company’s selection, in our opinion, of Delaware as its future location would further expand our state’s reputation as not just a financial services hub, but as an ideal location for emerging digital and financial technology companies,” said Kurt Foreman, CEO of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, which oversees economic development in Delaware.
The state on Monday awarded a combined $7.6 million in taxpayer grants to ICM and three other companies to expand or establish operations in Delaware.
The money comes from Delaware’s Strategic Fund, a pool of state money meant to attract businesses and generate jobs in the First State.
Applicants are brought to the Council on Development Finance by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, a public-private partnership that helps businesses find potential sites and funding. The vast majority of, if not all applicants in the system’s four-year lifespan have been approved. All of Monday’s applicants received unanimous approval.
In recent years, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership has supported projects like Amazon’s Boxwood Road mega-warehouse and WuXi AppTec’s coming Middletown manufacturing campus.
In addition to ICM, the Council on Development Finance awarded grants Monday to the following companies.
A subsidiary of New Jersey-based Wonder Meats, B&M Meats manufactures frozen cheesesteaks it calls Philly steaks to sell to food distributors such as Sysco and US Foods.
The company will receive $1.1 million to expand its operations at 21 Commerce St. in Wilmington and build a new facility at the Wilmington Riverfront.
The Commerce Street facility has been expanded four times since Wonder Meats bought B&M in 2016, according to CFO Chris Linteris. The latest and final expansion will add 70 jobs to the existing 98 at some point next year.
The new facility will be located on the East 7th Street peninsula. It will cost $18 million to build and employ an additional 120 people. The company plans to open the new facility in late 2023 or 2024.
Analytical Biological Services
Charlie Saller, a former AstraZeneca biochemist, founded Analytical Biological Services with his own money in 1990 to remove inefficiency from lab operations across the region.
His company provides biological materials and services to such as sample storage and cell cultivation to save companies time and effort setting up their research. His 33 full-time employees serve as an extension of their corporate customer’s labs.
After streamlining the business to its core operation, Analytical Biological Services has doubled in the last five years in personnel and revenue, according to Saller.
“Right now we can’t fit where we are, it’s constraining our operations,” Saller said. “The last couple years we saw this coming, we were looking for lab space. It’s been difficult to find anything in Delaware.”
Analytical Biological Services will receive $1.3 million to renovate an office building at 2 Reads Way near New Castle. The renovations will cost more than $4 million. Saller intends to hire 36 employees making between $55,000 and $140,000 annually by the end of 2023.
The company is currently based in Wilmington’s Cornell Business Park.
Great Outdoor Cottages
Great Outdoor Cottages builds rental cabins stationed at RV resorts and campgrounds.
The council approved a $927,000 grant for the company to build a 45,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at Delaware Coastal Business Park in Georgetown, but representatives from the company said they might return to the council with plans for a larger development at the business park.
Great Outdoor Cottages has a temporary 15,000-square-foot facility in Millsboro that it is using to fulfill its initial 161 units.
The cabins have electricity and water and are sold fully furnished. Great Outdoor Cottages is also considering building some on pontoons at marinas.
“It’s a grossly underserved market,” said Todd Burbage, the company’s lead investor and CEO of Bluewater Development, which has more than a dozen hotels and campgrounds in eight East Coast states.
Great Outdoor Cottages has 30 employees and plans to expand to 180.
Contact Brandon Holveck at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @holveck_brandon.