After encountering multiple challenges, Sampaio launched Orlando-based Globalfy LLC in 2015 to give banking, accounting, mailing and even e-commerce help to other foreign businesses entering the U.S. market.
Growing interest in Florida and Orlando from international business owners, as well as new services, will cause Globalfy’s workforce to grow from 60 people to 120 or more by July 2023, Sampaio told Orlando Inno.
Customers from 50+ countries
Globalfy significantly grew its customer base last month when it launched its banking service. Foreign entrepreneurs can use Globalfy to set up a U.S. bank account remotely in seconds. Globalfy provides the technology and services tailored to foreign entrepreneurs, while Globalfy partner Blue Ridge Bank NA provides the banking services.
Before this launch, Globalfy’s services focused on companies new to the U.S. market. Now, its potential market has grown to include companies already established in the U.S. that need banking help.
The company’s geographic reach is expanding alongside its services. It originally focused on Portuguese-speaking markets like Brazil before expanding to Spanish-speaking countries and, most recently, English-speaking business owners. The firm’s customers are concentrated in Latin America, but it’s finding customers in Asia and Europe, too.
The company has been profitable since 2016, and Globalfy in seven years has served 5,000 customers from more than 50 countries, Sampaio added.
So far, Globalfy is self-funded. However, Sampaio said the company seeks to raise outside investment this year for the first time.
Direct foreign investment in the U.S. economy surged last year. It increased from $192.2 billion in 2020 to $333.6 billion in 2021, its highest level since 2016, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data released July 6.
Miami historically is the U.S. hub for Latin-American business investment and attention, but Orlando in the last two years is catching up, Sampaio said. For example, Globalfy’s e-commerce warehouse in Orlando is growing in popularity as Latin-American businesses face higher costs and longer wait times at logistics centers in South Florida, he said. “Latin America is learning more about Orlando.”
Globalfy isn’t the only organization seeing more international business expansion coming through Orlando. At the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program, the “floodgates opened” last year as Covid-19 related restrictions loosened up and an influx of new businesses joined the university’s soft-landing program, UCF Incubation Program Director of Programs and Operations Carol Ann Logue previously said.
The UCF soft-landing program is for established businesses outside Central Florida, many of which are international, that want to set up shop in Central Florida. Sampaio went through the soft-landing program when he brought his company over from Brazil, and Globalfy is a client of the university’s Business Incubation Program.