PayPal Canada has announced that it will be moving into the MaRS Discovery District later this fall. “Relocating our Canadian headquarters to MaRS…is a strategic move for us for several reasons,” writes Paul Parisi, PayPal Canada’s General Manager, in a blog post earlier today. “[It] puts us at the centre of a globally-recognized innovation hub, allowing us to foster deeper connections with the community at MaRS.”
PayPal Canada was one of the first partners of MaRS’ FinTech cluster. “PayPal has been a longstanding partner of MaRS,” says Salim Teja, EVP of Ventures for MaRS. “We first started working with them when they were running their global hackathons in 2014. They had selected Toronto as a location, and held the event at MaRS, and it was one of the largest turnouts that they’ve ever seen anywhere in the world.”
Teja says he believes the event put MaRS on the map for the company, which has now run the hackathon with them several times. “I think that they understood that physically being here they could become an even more active part of our community, working with the startups and being able to participate in our programming, and that was very attractive to them,” he adds.
Teja says that the presence of larger companies like Johnson & Johnson and Facebook at MaRS were also appealing to PayPal. “I think they thought they would fit in well with the broader community we’re building here at MaRS,” he shares.
“Our vision has always been that the companies that we have in the centre physically are connected to our industries and our communities, including the entrepreneur community,” he says. “Where we can, we’d like to bring in partners that can be an active member of our programs. When those opportunities bubble up, we certainly pursue them because we feel that it creates even more synergies by having them physically here.”
Parisi wrote that the move “provides more opportunities for [PayPal] to team up with the country’s leading startups” to consult on “disruptive solutions and technologies,” and that the company had already hosted successful feedback and mentoring sessions with MaRS’ 200 FinTech startups. “They have a pretty rich developer ecosystem, and they have entire teams that help support startup communities,” says Teja. “They’ve been very excited and surprised by the size of the Toronto ecosystem, and they’ve been a very easy partner for our startups to work with.”
The company is planning to relocate its Canada offices to MaRS’ College Street location “in a few weeks.”