Atlanta is Becoming a High-Tech Hub
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Atlanta’s transformation into a high-tech hub for fintech has helped foster its development, say top executives with Regions Securities.

Business is booming for financial technology companies; nearly one-third of the country’s high-growth companies are in technology. So it’s no surprise that cities nationwide are opening accelerators, incubators, and seed funds aimed at nurturing technology startups. And Atlanta appears to be ahead of the pack, the executives say.

“Technology will be a major growth engine for the economy for years and years to come, so from a city’s standpoint, it’s an attractive industry to embrace,” says David Stephenson, managing director at Regions Securities in Atlanta. Regions Securities sees Atlanta as a fintech hub that possesses several advantages that most of its rivals do not, Stephenson says talent, location, transportation hub and citywide technological support.

Regions has contributed approximately $600 million in committed senior debt capital to eight Atlanta-headquartered fintech companies. In addition, Regions provides ACH, BIN (bank identification number) sponsorship, and other treasury management services, Stephenson says.

Steve Hamil, managing director, Regions Securities, says Atlanta’s strong fintech community is anchored by the city’s dominant position within the payments-processing industry. Thanks to several multi-national fintech companies, Georgia accounts for a majority of the credit card payments processed worldwide, according to the American Transaction Processors Coalition.

The diversity of companies in Atlanta’s fintech scene results in companies with varying cultures and vastly different sizes across the revenue spectrum. “I think you see different styles in Atlanta,” Hamil says. “Larger Fintech companies can tend to have cultures that are more akin to large banks or large corporations, while smaller fintech companies in the Atlanta market have more early stage, entrepreneurial cultures, in part to attract young technology-savvy talent.”

The density of talent working in the same sector results in more ideas for more fintech companies — a notion borne out by the success of Atlanta fintech startups. Many startups in Atlanta’s fintech community have had IPOs in the past few years. In addition, it serves as a draw to international up-and-comers in the industry, says Barrett Daws, vice president, corporate banking at Regions Securities.

With the right influx of talent, capital, and experience, those startups will become upper-middle-market companies and corporate entities. “These fintech companies have gestated the town with knowledge and experience within their sectors of technology, and over time in Atlanta, we’ve seen that blossom into new startups, which then grow into middle-market companies,” Daws says.

A line on talent, and the will to develop it

Another of Atlanta’s advantages as an emergent tech hub is its unique status as the only major city in its region. Research universities within a 400-mile radius of Atlanta include in-state stalwarts such as the University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Georgia State University, and several institutions within the Atlantic Coast Conference. The region is home to hundreds of other smaller public and private colleges as well.

Atlanta’s corporate leaders have indicated their willingness to help the city’s young entrepreneurs and technologists build strong companies. Last year, a group of widely known companies combined efforts with Georgia Tech to launch a new venture-capital fund and mentorship program called Engage Ventures.

“When you combine infrastructure with talent at this level, it begets more infrastructure and talent, and creates growth and draws more resources to the area,” Stephenson says. “Atlanta’s growth has been an incredible success story, and now the city is poised to build on that success.”

With more than $1.5 billion committed in the area and its focus on long-term relationships, Regions Securities has proven its commitment to the Atlanta fintech scene. See how Regions Securities’ consultative approach can take your business to the next level with syndication, debt and equity issuance, capital formation, and many other services. To learn more, visit regions.com/securities.

Regions Securities® is a registered service mark of Regions Bank and is used under license for the corporate and investment banking services of Regions Bank and its affiliates. Securities activities and Merger and Acquisition advisory services are provided by Regions Securities LLC, 1180 W. Peachtree St. NW, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-279-7400. Member FINRA and SIPC. Banking products and services, including lending, financial risk management and treasury and payment solutions are offered by Regions Bank. Deposit products are offered by Regions Bank, Member FDIC.
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This information is provided for educational and general marketing purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation or suggestion as to the advisability of acquiring, holding or disposing of a particular investment, nor should it be construed as a suggestion or indication that the particular investment or investment course of action described herein is appropriate for any specific retirement investor. In providing this communication, Regions is not undertaking to provide impartial investment advice or to give advice in a fiduciary capacity.