M&T Bank's new startup has doubled in size since February

By Dan Miner
Buffalo Business First

Paul Garibian leads M&T Bank's new startup Nota. (Joed Viera/Buffalo Business First)

M&T Bank’s Nota initiative was created from scratch last year, had 10 employees as of this February and has doubled its team since that time.

It’s a function of the project’s ambition, with plenty of hiring yet to come, said Paul Garibian, Nota president.

“We are actively hiring for five openings right now and certainly the team will continue to grow,” Garibian said. “We are in expansion mode and we have a lot to do.”

Nota was launched publicly in August as a digital banking solution for attorneys to reconcile their complex ledgers.

Nota is effectively a bank-owned startup aimed at small law firms and solo attorneys, part of M&T’s ongoing effort to bring specific fintech products solving specific problems to the market.

Nota started with about 10 early adopters last year and now has several hundred customers. The plan is to scale throughout the bank’s footprint, which includes about 150,000 small firms and solo attorneys. Garibian said the huge customer base gives the bank an advantage over a traditional startup that has to identify its own market and create a business development framework.

“In M&T’s footprint alone, the sky is the limit,” he said. “We are focused on recruiting as many of them as we can.”

Nota was moving into new space in the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center in mid-March when the pandemic hit. The workforce is currently working remotely, but Garibian said he expects to occupy that space once again when in-person work resumes.

The Covid-19 pandemic briefly stalled Nota’s growth plans, but ultimately Garibian said its web-based focus and goal of making attorneys’ lives easier has been even more well-received during the pandemic.

“These attorneys are juggling a lot of things while working from home, so Nota’s value proposition has been extremely timely,” he said. “We’ve been able to show we can add value to them within the first 30 days.’

This article originally appeared in Buffalo Business First.