Atlanta-based Cardlytics plans to open its first Asia office next year in Visakhapatnam, an eastern Indian city making its case as a financial technology hub.
The office will open in early 2019 and will ramp up to 80 employees by the following year, according to a news release by Cardlytics, which helps banks and other financial institutions manage their loyalty programs and better target marketing messages based on customers’ purchase history.
Vizag, as the city is affectionately known, is the capital of Andhra Pradesh, which has been aggressively courting overseas investment after the carving out of India’s 29th state, Telangana, in 2014 caused Andhra to shed 35 million people and its economic center, Hyderabad.
Andrha’s young IT minister, Nara Lokesh, visited Atlanta earlier this year, telling the state’s story and inviting Atlanta investors to take advantage of new incentives from a government run by his father, Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu.
The state has set up an area called Fintech Valley Vizag to stake its claim in the areas of payments and financial technology, which are evolving an unprecedented rate as more Indian consumers enter the formal economy and join the middle class. India’s government has also been keen to wean citizens off cash — to boost inclusion, improve tax collection and reduce corruption. Vizag’s idea is reminiscent of Atlanta’s efforts to build the city’s reputation as Transaction Alley, a hub for many of the world’s top payment-processing firms.
Global Atlanta has reached out to Cardlytics to ascertain whether executives met with Mr. Lokesh during his Atlanta visit.
Cardlytics co-founder and COO Lynne Laube, and Chief Technology Officer Sathish Gaddipati will officially announce the company’s expansion plans at the Vizag Fintech Festival Oct. 22-24. As a sponsor of the event, the company will have a booth to meet with potential partners and employees.
Cardlytics raised $70 million in an initial public offering on NASDAQ in February after having raised more than $200 million in private funding since its founding. The India office will complement its first international venture — a London office opened in 2013. The company also has offices in New York and San Francisco.
More on Mr. Lokesh’s visit to Atlanta:
More on the India office and why Vizag was picked at www.cardlytics.com/india.
More on Fintech Valley: www.fintechvalleyvizag.com