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Fast-growing California tech firm to open new subsidiary in South Baltimore, employing 200 eventually

Fast-growing California tech firm to open new subsidiary in South Baltimore, employing 200 eventually
Stripe Inc. has chosen McHenry Row in South Baltimore for its new support subsidiary Helm Inc. (Handout photo / Baltimore Sun)

Stripe Inc., a fast-growing online payments firm, plans to open a new subsidiary in Baltimore at McHenry Row that will employ 200 people eventually, the company confirmed.

Stripe selected McHenry Row, the mixed-use development in Locust Point, for the headquarters of Helm Inc., a new unit that will offer merchants and other users operational support for Stripe’s software.

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Helm is leasing 44,000 square feet in the building at 1215 E. Fort Ave. The company expects to grow to 200 employees over three years.

“We considered a number of cities across the country for Helm’s inaugural location, and Baltimore stood out for its unique combination of world-class educational institutions, talented and diverse workforce, and entrepreneurial spirit,” Helm President Patrick Mahoney said in a statement. “We look forward to forming strong ties with the community and contributing to its culture of excellence and innovation.”

Stripe’s software is used by businesses to accept online payments. Customers include Google and Uber Technologies, according to Stripe’s website. Users in Maryland include the Chesapeake Conservancy and Huntress Labs.

Founded in 2010 by Irish entrepreneurs John and Patrick Collison, the San Francisco-based company was valued most recently at $20 billion in September 2018 when it raised $245 million, according to a Bloomberg News report at the time. The company isn’t well known, but, according to Bloomberg, 84% of American adults who bought something online used its service in 2017.

“We are very pleased to welcome Helm to Baltimore where it can take advantage of our highly-skilled workforce and growing community of tech companies,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a news release. “This new company, and the 200 jobs it will create, is a win for Baltimore City and our entire state as we continue to make Maryland Open for Business.”

The state is providing a $600,000 conditional loan to assist with project costs that could be forgiven if Stripe and Helm meet certain hiring and longevity benchmarks. The loan came through the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Advantage Maryland, formerly the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund. The Baltimore Development Corp. is providing a $150,000 conditional loan.

“Stripe’s selection of Baltimore after an exhaustive national search and serious consideration of dozens of other cities demonstrates strength of our growing and inclusive economy, and I commend Baltimore Development Corporation for all of their efforts to attract this business,” said Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in a statement. “We welcome such an innovative company that will invest in our city, create livable wage jobs for our residents, and contribute to the continued economic growth of Baltimore.”

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