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CEO FOCUS: TCGplayer acquisition highlights strength of local tech and innovation economy

By Robert Simpson


TCGplayer [on Aug. 22] announced it has signed an acquisition agreement with eBay. The deal, reportedly worth $295 million, will enable the company to continue to operate independently and grow in Syracuse.

“In just over 10 years, TCGplayer has grown from a startup to an e-commerce leader with nearly 700 employees.”


I am often asked what an acquisition like this means for our community. To me, it is something that we should celebrate, because acquisitions like this are the true mark of a healthy and robust innovation ecosystem. Not only is this a win for TCGplayer and its employees, but it also shows that this community is supporting the creation of companies that can attract this type of investment. As Central New York’s innovation ecosystem continues to grow, I anticipate more companies will seek investments in small and mid-sized cities, like Syracuse, that are growing tech hubs. 

Beyond the local and direct impact for TCGplayer, this deal will also help drive further growth and opportunity for the region. In just over 10 years, TCGplayer has grown from a startup to an e-commerce leader with nearly 700 employees. As all of TCGplayer’s employees had stock in the company, this deal is an important opportunity for new wealth creation for those employees, which will undoubtedly ripple through our local economy. 

Throughout its history TCGplayer has focused on innovation, continually evolving to meet opportunities, while also being a community-focused leader. In 2019, given its growth trajectory, the company moved its headquarters into the Galleries building in downtown Syracuse. The unique, street-level offices revitalized a landmark but underutilized space in the central business district, and quickly became the anchor of a growing tech corridor on Warren Street. TCGplayer Founder and CEO Chedy Hampson is a graduate of the Syracuse City School District (SCSD) and has continued his commitment to our community’s youth by showing them the opportunities that exist in the tech field through SCSD Career Connections events. Additionally, he has pioneered innovative workforce strategies to help local residents advance their skills and transition careers at the company.

I am incredibly proud and excited for Chedy and the entire team at TCGplayer. We look forward to continuing to celebrate their growth and impact here in Syracuse.       

Robert M. Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO, the primary economic-development organization for Central New York. This article is drawn and edited from the “CEO Focus” email newsletter that the organization sent to members on Aug. 25.