Shippo Opens New Austin Office in a Former Auto Shop, Plans 300 Hires
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 Shippo, a platform that simplifies the shipping process for small and medium-sized businesses by compiling rate quotes and timetables from a network of more than 85 shipping carriers, ranging from national companies like FedEx to regional companies like LSO.
Shippo held a grand opening Monday for its new Austin office at 1408 E. 13th St. This is the company’s first office outside of its San Francisco headquarters.
Located on the east side of Austin in a former auto repair shop, the 6,700-square-foot space is designed to inspire collaboration with an open office furnished with couches and chairs. The auto shop garage doors still work, so employees can let in the fresh air when the weather is nice.
The office was originally going to be limited to engineering staff, but it has expanded to more than 40 people from a variety of departments including product, sales and customer success.
Shippo hired its first Austin employee, Yasser Farra, to lead the Austin engineering team in August of 2020. Although Shippo is remote-friendly, Farra said the office provides an opportunity for creativity and collaboration.
“There’s a lot of collaboration that really can only 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, talented pool of tech professionals, as well as the affordability and quality of life.
Shippo reached unicorn status in June with a $50 million Series E round that more than doubled the company’s valuation to $1 billion. The company also raised a $45 million Series D earlier this year.
On top of its fast-growing valuation, Shippo has also seen a tremendous growth in its personnel, with global headcount doubling since the start of this year to 300 people. The company expects to once again double the size of its workforce next year to 600 people.
All company job listings are based in San Francisco, Austin or remote, so Farra expects a percentage of future hires to come to the Austin office. He predicts the Austin workforce will probably double in the next year, reaching 100 employees.
As Shippo grows, Farra said it’s important that the company maintains its startup culture.
“It’s a collaborative culture,” he said. “It’s a culture of empowerment and autonomy. The people we hire love taking responsibility and ownership. There’s a lot of freedom to innovate and create.”