Scaling startups are establishing secondary hubs in these cities – TechCrunch


America’s mayors have spent the previous 9 months tripping over one another to curry favor with in its high-profile seek for a second headquarters.

Extra quietly, nonetheless, an analogous story has been enjoying out in startup-land. Most of the most precious venture-backed corporations are venturing outdoors their high-cost headquarters and establishing secondary hubs in smaller cities.

The place are they going? Nashville is fairly fashionable. So is Phoenix. Portland and Raleigh are also seeing some jobs. Various corporations even have a excessive variety of distant choices, searching for candidates with coveted expertise who don’t need to relocate.

These are among the findings from a Crunchbase Information evaluation of the geographic hiring practices of U.S. unicorns. Since most of those corporations are primarily based in high-cost places, just like the San Francisco Bay Space, Boston and New York, we had been seeking to see if there’s a sample of establishing places of work in smaller, cheaper cities. (For extra on survey approach, see Methodology part under.)

Here’s a take a look at among the hotspots.


One shock discovering was the prominence of Nashville amongst secondary places for startup places of work.

We discovered at the least 4 unicorns scaling up Nashville places of work, plus one other three with rising operations in or round different Tennessee cities. Listed below are among the Tennessee-loving startups:

Once we referred to Nashville’s recognition with unicorns as shocking, that was largely as a result of town isn’t referred to as a serious hub for tech startups or enterprise funding. That stated, it has lots of attributes that make for a sensible and fascinating location for a secondary workplace.

Nashville’s points of interest embody excessive high quality of life rankings, a rising inhabitants and economic system, delicate local weather and plenty of stay music. Dwelling costs and total value of residing are additionally nonetheless far under Silicon Valley and New York, although the Nashville actual property market has been on a tear for the previous a number of years. An added perk for employees: Tennessee has no revenue tax on wages.


Phoenix is one other fashionable choose for startup places of work, significantly West Coast corporations searching for a lower-cost hub for customer support and different operations that require a big workers.

Within the chart under, we take a look at 5 unicorns with vital staffing within the desert metropolis:


Affordability, ease of growth and a big employable inhabitants appear to be massive elements in Phoenix’s enchantment. Houses and total value of residing are so much cheaper than the massive coastal cities. And there’s loads of room to sprawl.

One article a couple of new workplace opening additionally cited low job turnover charges as a lovely Phoenix-area attribute, which is an attention-grabbing notion. Startup hubs like San Francisco and New York see lots of job-hopping, significantly for folks with in-demand talent units. Scaling corporations could also be on the lookout for individuals who measure their job tenure in years quite than months.

These aren’t the one locations

Nashville and Phoenix aren’t the one hotspots for unicorns establishing secondary places of work. Many different cities are additionally seeing some scaling startup exercise.

Let’s begin with North Carolina. The Analysis Triangle area is understood for having lots of STEM grads, so it is sensible that deep tech corporations headquartered elsewhere would possibly nonetheless need a native base. One such firm is cybersecurity unicorn Tanium, which has lots of technical job openings within the space. One other is Docker, developer of software program containerization know-how, which has open positions in Raleigh.

The Orlando metro space stood out largely attributable to Robinhood, the zero-fee inventory and crypto buying and selling platform that not too long ago hit the $5 billion valuation mark. The Silicon Valley-based firm has a major variety of open positions in Lake Mary, an Orlando suburb, together with HR and compliance jobs.

Portland, in the meantime, simply drew one other crypto-loving unicorn, digital foreign money transaction platform Coinbase. The San Francisco-based firm not too long ago opened an workplace within the Oregon metropolis and is at the moment in hiring mode.

Anyplace with a display screen

However you don’t need to be wherever specifically to attain jobs at many fast-growing startups. A whole lot of unicorns have a excessive variety of distant positions, together with specialised technical roles that could be laborious to fill regionally.

GitHub, which makes instruments builders can use to collaborate remotely on initiatives, does a very good job of training what it codes. A notable variety of engineering jobs open on the San Francisco-based firm can be found to distant employees, and different departments even have some openings for telecommuters.

Others with a smattering of distant openings embody Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity supplier CrowdStrike, enterprise software program developer Apttus and likewise Docker.

Not everyone seems to be doing it

After all, not each unicorn is opening giant secondary places of work. Many choose to maintain workers nearer to dwelling base, searching for to lure staff with stylish workplaces and lavish perks. Different corporations discover that once they do develop, it makes strategic sense to go to a different high-cost location.

Nonetheless, the secondary hub phenomenon could provide a partial antidote to complaints that a couple of areas are hogging an excessive amount of of the enterprise capital pie. Whereas unicorns nonetheless overwhelmingly headquarter in a handful of cities, at the least they’re spreading their wings and offering extra jobs in different places, too.


For this evaluation, we had been U.S. unicorns with secondary places of work in different North American cities. We started with a checklist of 125 U.S.-based corporations and checked out open positions marketed on their web sites, specializing in job location.

We excluded job choices associated to representing a neighborhood market. As an illustration, a San Francisco firm searching for a gross sales rep in Chicago to promote to Chicago prospects doesn’t depend. As a substitute, we seemed for openings for crew members dealing with core operations, together with engineering, funds and company-wide buyer assist. We additionally excluded secondary places of work outdoors of North America.

Moreover, we had been trying principally for corporations increasing into lower-cost areas. In lots of circumstances, we did see corporations strategically including workers in different high-cost places, corresponding to New York and Silicon Valley.

A last observe pertains to Austin, Texas. We did see a number of unicorns primarily based elsewhere with job openings in Austin. Nonetheless, we didn’t embody town within the sections above as a result of Austin, though a lower-cost location than Silicon Valley, might also be characterised as a big, mature know-how and startup hub in its personal proper.

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