Apiture, a new digital banking technology company, has chosen a downtown Wilmington office building as its base of operations, planning to grow from about 30 to 40 employees to 100 in the coming years.
The newly formed joint venture
between Wilmington-based Live Oak Bancshares (NASDAQ: LOB) and First Data (NYSE: FDC) combines First Data’s and Live Oak Bank’s digital banking platforms, products and services with the aim to provide technology solutions tailored for financial institutions.
Apiture has leased the entire fifth floor of the Bank of America building, about 12,000 square feet, in downtown Wilmington at 319 N. Third St.
Chris Cox, president of Apiture and former head of digital banking at First Data, said it made sense for Apiture to set up shop in Wilmington because of its proximity to the headquarters of joint venture partner Live Oak, at 1741 Tiburon Drive in midtown Wilmington.
"It's just a great place for a new company to be. We'll be participating in sort of an emerging bank tech scene that's happening here in Wilmington, and it's just really good for us to be here in the middle of that," Cox said.
A downtown environment also suited the new firm.
"We wanted to be downtown. We have people relocating from different parts of the country and we thought downtown was the appropriate place, kind of the center of all things Wilmington," Cox said.
Apiture will be the first tenant for the fifth and top floor of the Bank of America building, which was constructed in 2008 and purchased by River Bend #1 LLC for nearly $8 million in 2015.
"It's great for the Bank of America building to have a large tenant and all that entails, and I think it's also great for downtown Wilmington," said Hill Rogers, broker in charge of Wilmington-based Cameron Managment Inc., the firm that manages and is in charge of leasing for the Bank of America building.
Other tenants in the building include Bank of America, Eshelman Ventures, Dye Creek Capital and the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP.
The fifth-floor space will need to be upfitted for Apiture, which is expected to move in after the first of the year, Cox said.
Apiture will start with a set of customers that First Data has been serving for years, he said.
"The idea is we continue to serve them well as we always have, but part of the purpose of the joint venture is to allow us, through new technology that we get from our new partner Live Oak Bank and new services that we get from our partner, to continue to serve those existing clients with even better products and services," Cox said. "We'll continue to have an offering that's attractive to the whole market and continue to grow our client base."