Australian tech firm Finder may find its way to metro Denver

Finder, a consumer-focused Australian tech company, is considering metro Denver for its U.S. headquarters, a move that could bring 198 jobs to the state, including 74 or more positions located in rural areas.

The company employs 450 people worldwide, including three in Colorado. Every month about 10 million users, spread across more than 80 countries, visit its website, which allows consumers to comparison shop for everything from data plans to travel insurance to home loans.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission on Thursday approved up to $2.3 million in job growth incentive tax credits, essentially a future rebate on state taxes, to the company if it brings 198 jobs to the state over the next eight years. The jobs will pay an average annual wage of $84,222.

Finder also received approval for up to $300,000 from the Colorado Strategic Fund’s LONE program, which encourages firms to hire remote workers in more rural parts of the state rather than in urban areas. That would cover up to 90 rural hires, although the company is looking at closer to 74.

“They are considering communities across the metro area,” Andrew Trump, a business development manager at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, told a commissioner when asked if any local government incentives were being offered.

Finder is also studying setting up shop in Utah, Texas and North Carolina.

The EDC on Thursday also approved $5.6 million in job growth incentive tax credits to a technology company with the codename Project Sunset in return for bringing 250 jobs paying an average annual wage of $82,000 to Denver. The company provides an application-based business-to-business payment tool for small- and medium-sized firms.

The New York company is trying to drum up more business in the western half of the U.S. and most of the positions are in either customer support or sales. Arizona, Nevada and Texas are also in the running.

A third incentive award for up to $1.03 million was approved for Project Fish, a bioscience company that is looking to bring 85 new jobs paying an average annual wage of $75,000 to Larimer County.

One argument offered for approving the award was that the company already employs 150 people in Colorado and the job growth incentive tax credit would help preserve those jobs while adding new ones. The state’s bioscience industry has taken several hits in recent years, including the loss of 450 jobs when Novartis closed its facility in Broomfield.

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