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05 July . 2019

Tech industry making major migration to Austin

Austin has become a viable alternative to California’s Silicon Valley for companies looking to grow, according to an article in Crunchbase News, a digital publication covering technology.

Writer Mary Ann Azevedo recalls not being very impressed by Austin’s skyline when she was a grad student at The University of Texas in the early 2000s. Fast-forward to today, and she calls Austin’s constantly evolving skyline “a clear symbol of the tremendous growth the city has experienced over the past few years.”

Azevedo continues: “A large part of what’s behind these changes can be found in the city’s evolution into a tech hub. Over time, it has become a real alternative to the Bay Area for companies, big and small, looking to grow.”

The Crunchbase article notes that tech companies are announcing headquarters relocations and workforce expansions on constant basis.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce recorded 46 corporate relocations to the Austin area in 2018, and that doesn’t include recent expansions by companies already here, like Apple and Google. Those 46 relocations in 2018 brought more than 9,400 new jobs. It was a robust follow-up to 2017, when 51 relocations brought more than 3,000 new jobs.

Most companies are attracted by Austin’s lower cost of doing business and living, affordable real estate comparative to the Bay Area, and the city’s growing pool of tech talent.

The Crunchbase article lists these recent relocations and expansions of tech companies in Austin:

  • Zoho, a cloud competitor to Microsoft Office, has purchased 375 acres in South Austin, with plans to create at least 440 jobs here.
  • Imandra, an artificial intelligence startup from London, announced it would be moving its headquarters to Austin after raising $5 million in seed funding.
  • Juul Labs, the e-cigarette company based in San Francisco, will set up an Austin office to serve the Americas, with plans to hire at least 48.
  • REX, an online residential brokerage, relocated to Austin from Los Angeles, with plans to double its current headcount off 28. It was Rex CEO and co-founder Jack Ryan who called Texas “a place of outsized ambition and out-of-the-box thinking.”
  • Katerra, a San Francisco-based construction tech firm, plans to build a major manufacturing facility just south of Austin, in San Marcos, and create 542 full-time jobs.
  • Procore, another California-based construction tech company, is expanding its engineering department in Austin.

Azevedo concludes: “It’s a really exhilarating time to be here. Here, everyone gets pumped about every major deal, new fund relocation announcement, and general win for the city. That is refreshing and contagious.”

While some newcomers to Austin prefer to live in downtown high-rises and urban enclaves, many others prefer the major benefits of suburban living.

Sweetwater residents love their community for many reasons, including highly regarded Lake Travis ISD schools, and more than 700 acres of parks, trails, recreational amenities and natural open space.

Learn more about Sweetwater’s terrific location along Highway 71, offering the best of Austin, Bee Cave, Lakeway and the Hill Country.