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Mobi Wireless considers 500-employee expansion at Zionsville HQ

July 25, 2016

A Zionsville-based tech company is considering whether to spend $11 million to upgrade its headquarters and hire 500 employees over several years—or expand out of state, according to Boone County economic development officials.

Mobi Wireless Management LLC, which sells cloud-based software that helps companies manage and analyze mobile devices, currently has about 310 employees at 6100 W. 96th St. in Northwest Tech Park.

The company said it plans to add more than 500 jobs within five years and spend $11 million on equipment, software and hardware upgrades, but it hasn’t decided whether it will expand in Zionsville or in another location, according to the Boone County Economic Development Corp.

“We are still competing for the deal,” Boone County EDC Executive Director Molly Whitehead said. “The company has not made any decisions.”

The new jobs would pay an average wage of $20 per hour, above the county average of about $18.60 per hour.

“These are exactly the sort of jobs that we’re looking to bring to Zionsville and Boone County,” Whitehead said. “We know with IT companies, they tend to cluster together. We recognize that and want to continue growing that industry here.”

Boone County has offered the tech firm a $180,000 cash incentive to be paid over three years. The funding could only be spent on “unique purchases” such as proprietary software, Whitehead said.

Zionsville is also expected to consider a $30,000 cash incentive, also paid over a three-year period, that could be spent on any expenses related to Mobi’s expansion. The Zionsville Town Council has not yet voted on the incentive.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is also considering offering incentives, according to Whitehead, but IEDC declined to comment on the negotiations.

In 2010, IEDC offered Mobi up to $2.9 million in tax credits and $100,000 in training grants in exchange for the company’s commitment to hire 253 employees by the end of 2014. The company has collected about $395,000 of that incentive so far, according to IEDC.

Last year, Mobi secured $35 million in venture capital from New York-based private equity firm Bregal Sagemount. At the time, Mobi executives said the funding would be used to expand its market presence globally and enhance its technology offerings.

The company’s clients are typically involved in the software, manufacturing and health care industries and have at least 500 phones or tablets in use. The company was founded in 2009 after spinning off from Bluefish Wireless, which was started in 2001 by Christian and Michael Browning II, sons of local real estate developer Michael Browning.

In addition to the Browning brothers, Mobi’s co-founders are Tony Paris, Scott Kraege and Josh Garrett, who is also on the Zionsville Town Council.

The firm leases about 55,000 square feet of office space in the Northwest Tech Park, which also houses operations for hc1.com, SmartIT, Dow AgroSciences, American Cancer Society, Harrison College and Northwest Radiology. 

Mobi executives did not immediately respond to IBJ’s request for comment Monday morning.

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