Tech startup Fringe plants its flag in Scott’s Addition

Jordan Peace is the CEO of Fringe.

Fresh out of the incubator, a Richmond startup plans to close out the year in its own office space.

Fringe, which offers an online-based employee perks marketplace, recently inked a lease on 1717 Summit Ave. in Scott’s Addition.

The company plans to move into the space in mid-December. Fringe currently is fully remote after ending its lease at Startup Virginia, the Shockoe Bottom-based startup incubator, in spring 2020.

Fringe co-founder and CEO Jordan Peace said renovations are underway in the 3,400-square-foot Scott’s Addition office. He said the company seeks to build an office patterned on the coworking space experience.

Fringe is planning to move into 1717 Summit Ave. in Scott’s Addition, which was previously occupied by Workpath. (BizSense file)

“Our vision for the place is that it is like a clubhouse, like a private coworking space. Think like the Common House. We’re trying to mimic that vibe, but just for Fringe employees,” Peace said this week, referring to the coworking and social club chain with a location in downtown Richmond.

The renovations include a bar and kitchen area, beer taps and eight private booths for phone calls and video conferences. Peace said he expected the renovations and furniture to cost around $200,000.

Molly Gordon of Division 9 Designs is designing the space. Maple Creek Contracting is the project contractor.

Fringe now has more than 40 employees, 25 of whom are located in the Richmond area. After polling employees, Peace said the expectation is no more than 15 local workers will be in the new office at a time.

“People want to come in and do something away from home roughly two days a week on average,” Peace said.

Fringe settled on Scott’s Addition to have a central location in a neighborhood it expects will appeal to young employees.

“There’s just a vibe down here. It’s young, this is where the breweries and the distilleries and all the fun life is,” Peace said.

The space was formerly home to Workpath, which moved out earlier this year.

Fringe’s online marketplace allows client companies to provide their employees access to services, such as grocery delivery and childcare, to create their own fringe benefits package.

Peace said Fringe now has 140 vendors on its marketplace in the U.S. and another 100 vendors that are only offered through international versions of the marketplace. It has around 200 companies paying Fringe to open its marketplace to their employees. He said the marketplace has now has more than 20,000 users in 45 countries. Companies pay per employee per month to access Fringe, and the average company pays about $60 a month, Peace said.

Earlier this year, Fringe closed on a $4 million capital raise. Fringe has raised about $5 million in seed funding to date since it launched in December 2018, Peace said.

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