US-based small business lending company BFS Capital has opened a new data science and engineering hub in Toronto.
BFS noted its decision to locate in Toronto was inspired by the city’s ranking by CBRE as one of North America’s top three markets for tech talent, alongside San Francisco and Seattle. The company said it was also led by the desire to leverage Toronto’s data science and machine learning talent, as BFS hopes to develop the “next generation” of financial products.
“Toronto is fast becoming an epicenter of data science, artificial intelligence, and technology, and is an ideal place to expand.”
“Toronto is fast becoming an epicenter of data science, artificial intelligence, and technology, and is an ideal place to expand our team and capitalize on our vision for intuitive, user-centric and digital-first financial services,” said BFS CEO Mark Ruddock. “After having spent the past few years leading organizations overseas, I’ve been incredibly impressed by the rise of Toronto into one of the top technology centers in the world.”
BFS noted that the new space, located downtown Toronto, will operate like a tech startup within the company. The hub will eventually employ 50 people spanning developers, UX designers, data scientists, software developers and engineers, as well as business operations professionals.
“This new workspace gives us a centralized capability for data and advanced analytics so that we can create our digital future,” said Eric Weiner, chief risk officer at BFS, who will be relocating from the company’s Coral Springs, Fla., headquarters to Toronto.
BFS focuses on offering businesses financing options by leveraging advanced technology and data science. The company operates in Canada, the US, and the UK and stated that, to date, it has issued more than $2 billion in financing to more than 23,000 businesses.
BFS joins a growing number of US-based companies that have recently chosen to open engineering and tech hubs in the city of Toronto. Earlier this year Uber announced plans to open an engineering hub in the city, following the likes of Amazon, and Instacart, which both announced plans last year to hire hundreds of tech workers for Toronto offices. PointClickCare, Accenture, and Silicon Valley startup Punchh are also among the number of growing companies interested in accessing Toronto’s talent pool, pointing to the city being one of the fastest growing global tech hubs.
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