An Albuquerque tech success story, Lavu is once again getting ready to grow and move, and the firm is getting new cash from the state to do it.
A point-of-sale software company, Lavu is expected to get $270,000 in grant funds from the state’s Local Economic Development Act, or LEDA program, with the promise that the company will add new jobs over the next few years.
The investment was revealed Tuesday in a meeting of the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners. The county voted to act as the “fiscal agent” for Lavu’s LEDA grant, meaning it will oversee the grant’s distribution and use.
Lavu’s had high visibility on the corner of First Street and Central Avenue for more than three years, but the company says they’ve outgrown the space and need a bigger location.
“It’s really one of our leading high-tech businesses,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins, speaking about Lavu in an interview with KRQE News 13 Tuesday.
“We want to help them be successful here,” said Hart Stebbins.
The commissioner co-sponsored the ordinance that makes Bernalillo County the fiscal agent for the LEDA grant. The ordinance passed unanimously Tuesday evening.
Hart Stebbins believes the investment will help keep the homegrown tech company in Albuquerque.
“We really want to support companies or business owners who’ve invested their time, their money, their talent in growing a business here, providing jobs here,” said Hart Stebbins.
Since it was founded in 2010 in Albuquerque, Lavu has become a worldwide company providing software for iPad-based cash registers. In 2015, Lavu tweeted that had more than 40 employees. According to county documents, the company has since more than doubled its workforce and continues to grow.
County documents show Lavu had its eyes on the ground floor space of the old Staples site in the Daskalos Building along Central in Nob Hill. However, Bernalillo County tells KRQE News 13 that the deal for that space didn’t work out.
The county says Lavu’s latest plan is to stay downtown and move into the Albuquerque Plaza building, also known as the U.S. Eagle Building, the tallest building in the city.
Lavu says it’s hoping to move into the Albuquerque Plaza building soon but won’t say exactly when. County documents indicate that Lavu originally wanted to be in a new location by April 2018. The LEDA grant is expected to help aid in the costs associated with the move.
The tech company declined an interview with KRQE News 13 Tuesday, but says it’s planning on hiring more people and making an official announcement soon about the company’s continued growth.
“It’s a 21st century, high-tech employer, clean jobs, high paying jobs,” said Hart Stebbins.
The county is projecting the LEDA investment will help Lavu grow to employ 121 people at salary ranges between $32,000 and $120,000 a year.