Software engineers’ talent is valuable, and the market knows it.
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Recent Crunchbase News analysis found that software professionals at some of the most-funded “unicorn” startups can earn well into the six figures. It’s no wonder, then, why hiring and subsequently paying engineers is one of the largest costs incurred by scaling software businesses.
Since the dawn of the software industry, hiring remote has always been an option. The challenge, so often, is quality. We’ve all heard horror stories of development projects gone wrong under the aegis of outsourced teams.
Terminal is a San Francisco-based startup trying to do something a little different. Part technical recruiter, part office-space manager, and part HR administrator, the company helps its clients spin up and run remote software engineering teams where high-quality talent can be obtained for less.
Here’s the basics of the model: Terminal builds remote software engineering teams for fast-growing technology companies. Terminal is the employer and facilitates payroll, perks, and benefits. Its clients, in turn, pay Terminal by the month for their teams. In the event that a client terminates its relationship with Terminal, they have the option to convert their Terminal-managed team to one they manage themselves. “If the client chooses not to convert the engineer, Terminal works with the employee to place them in other opportunities within the Terminal family,” the company said in response to Crunchbase News’s questions
“Developers and programmers love building their careers in an engineer-centric community working on world-changing products,” said Terminal’s CEO, Clay Kellogg, in a statement. “We’re offering them a vibrant community with all of the HR resources, benefits and perks that they can get if they worked in Silicon Valley—without having to leave their hometown. This funding means we can provide exciting growth opportunities to even more engineers around the world,” he added.
Today, the company unveils $17 million in new funding led by 8VC.1 Participating investors include Atomic, Cathay Innovation, Cherubic Ventures, Craft Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and others.
The startup was co-founded by venture investors. Joe Lonsdale, co-founding general partner at the firm, launched Terminal alongside Jack Abraham, the managing partner of Atomic, a “venture fund that founds companies.” Terminal hosts remote development teams for a couple Atomic portfolio companies: Bungalow and Hims (which is also in 8VC’s portfolio). Other companies which use Terminal’s services include Dialpad, Eventbrite, and Gusto.
Terminal has a number of “campuses” throughout North America. The company has locations in Canadian cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Kitchener-Waterloo. Additionally, it has a location in Guadalajara, Mexico. Engineers working out of Terminal’s various offices have the amenities one would typically expect of a tech company office: lots of coffee, weekly catered lunches, and a calendar of social and professional events.
The company says it intends to expand to “more than 10 cities globally” over the next two years.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias