Austin is quickly becoming a tech capital and everyone wants to be part of the action.
The latest tech company to plant its flag in Silicon Hills is shippoa platform that simplifies the shipping process for small and medium businesses by compiling quotes and schedules from a network of over 85 shipping carriers, ranging from national carriers like FedEx to regional carriers like LSO .
Shippo held a grand opening Monday for its new Austin office at 1408 E. 13th St. It is the company’s first office outside of its San Francisco headquarters.
Located on Austin’s east side in a former auto repair shop, the 6,700 square foot space is designed to inspire collaboration with an open office furnished with sofas and chairs. The auto shop garage doors are still working, allowing employees to let in fresh air when the weather is nice.
The office was originally intended to be limited to engineering staff, but it expanded to over 40 people from various departments, including product, sales, and customer success.
Shippo hired its first Austin employee, Yasser Farra, to lead Austin’s engineering team in August 2020. Although Shippo is remotely suited, Farra said the office provides an opportunity for creativity and collaboration. .
“There’s a lot of collaboration that can only really happen when people are in the same space — on a whiteboard, doing a design or ideation,” he said. “Hallway conversations don’t happen when you’re on Zoom.”
Farra said Shippo decided to open its second office in Austin because of the diverse and talented pool of technology professionals, as well as affordability and quality of life.
Shippo achieved unicorn status in June with a $50 million Series E funding round that more than doubled the company’s valuation to $1 billion. The company also has raised $45 million Series D earlier this year.
In addition to its rapidly growing valuation, Shippo has also seen phenomenal growth in its workforce, with the global workforce doubling since the start of this year to 300 people. The company plans to double the size of its workforce again next year to 600 people.
All of the company’s job postings are based in San Francisco, Austin or remotely, so Farra expects a percentage of future hires to come from the Austin office. He predicts Austin’s workforce will likely double next year, reaching 100 employees.
As Shippo grows, Farra said it’s important for the company to maintain its startup culture.
“It’s a collaborative culture,” he says. “It’s a culture of empowerment and autonomy. The people we hire like to take responsibility and take ownership. There is a lot of freedom to innovate and create.