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PayIt Opens First International Headquarters in Toronto

The Missouri-based startup is making its first foray into the international gov tech market following several years of major fundraising and state contracts for its digital payment software in the U.S.

An aerial view of buildings in downtown Toronto.
Following years of growth, the mobile payment platform PayIt is expanding into the international market with a new Canadian headquarters in Toronto.

The Kansas City, Mo.-based company announced the new office in a news release this week, promising to hire a new executive and launch local partnerships to recruit new talent. The building will be in the Harbord Village neighborhood.

"It is our plan to use our presence in Toronto as a means to create more highly-skilled tech jobs in the city and to support the continued development of Toronto's tech talent footprint,” said founder and CEO John Thomson in the statement.

Founded in 2013, PayIt makes cloud-based mobile software through which citizens can pay state or local governments for motor vehicle documents, taxes, highway tolls, professional licensing and other services. The company’s first international expansion is the latest milestone in a trajectory of growth over the past several years, as it won state contracts with Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma and others, recruited major players from state government and Uber to its team, closed a massive funding round of more than $100 million in March 2019 and landed on the GovTech 100 the past four years in a row.

The company also comes to Toronto having stoked some controversy over the summer between the city and local tech companies. After PayIt lobbied them with a sales pitch, Toronto Mayor John Tory’s executive committee in July recommended that the city council direct staff to negotiate a $13.6 million, three-year contract with the company to digitize some of its services, according to the Toronto Star. Some local tech entrepreneurs were irked that the city didn’t issue a request for proposal or even a request for information from homegrown companies.

Andrew Westrope is managing editor of the Center for Digital Education. Before that, he was a staff writer for Government Technology, and previously was a reporter and editor at community newspapers. He has a bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and lives in Northern California.