FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Bitwise Industries has made its home in Fresno with its flagship location downtown. The tech-centered real estate company is now ready to expand. It has plans to open 100,000 square feet in office space at the State Center Warehouse later this year – and has also raised $50 million dollars to grow into multiple markets across the nation – including Oakland and Toledo, Ohio.
“It fits the blueprint of the cities that we’re looking for. We want underestimated, underdog cities that have a lot of potential and where there’s a lot of disparity in the wealth gap,” said Thilani Grubel, the Vice President of Bitwise Industries in Fresno.
Amid a pandemic, Grubel says growing the company fits right into their mission.
“We’ve seen over and over in this pandemic; it’s been black and brown people that have been affected the most. They’ve lost their jobs; they’re dying at higher rates. Our company is targeted to work with folks like that.”
One of the investors, Mitch Kapor, a partner at Kapor Capital, says the choice to invest in the Bitwise project was an easy one.
“Kapor Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in companies which close gaps of access or opportunity or outcome in low-income communities or communities of color. So, Bitwise is really a very strong alignment with that.”
Throughout California, Bitwise trained more than 5,000 people and found more than 80% of them technical employment. Kapor Capital says help like this is needed now more than ever.
“The need to help create jobs in cities that have not been participants in the tech economy: that’s a national issue, especially in the pandemic.”
Bitwise also has campuses in Bakersfield and Merced. The Toledo, Ohio location is planned to open sometime in 2022.