Is Austin the new Silicon Valley? Not yet. But it is a fact that a number of tech companies and VC firms are moving from the Bay Area, and/or setting up shop here. And that’s no coincidence.
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Late last year (sounds so long ago, but it really wasn’t), I wrote about how Apple Inc. had unveiled plans to build a massive new campus in Austin.
Now, digital lottery provider Lottery.com has also made a similar move, tapping Austin to house its executive headquarters. Lottery.com’s new 10,000-square-foot space in the picturesque Bee Cave area is home to the company’s executive team, as well as its marketing, growth and domestic engineering divisions. The company has also set up an office in Dallas and an operations facility in Waco, with plans to do more hiring in Texas.
Founded in 2015, Lottery.com’s app gives people a way to play the lottery from their mobile phones. Over time, the company has raised $19.4 million from the likes of 500 Startups and Aurum Partners LLC, among others.
In a statement, the company said it decided to leave the Bay Area because it was drawn to “the favorable business environment, cost of living, access to talent, and relationships the brand has with partners across the state” of Texas.
A company spokesperson gushed about the Lone Star State even more, saying that “Texas’s low cost of living, unbeatable tax rates, and friendly business environment made it a clear frontrunner in Lottery.com’s decision to relocate its headquarters to Austin.”
This is becoming a common refrain. Bottom line is, businesses and residents appear to simply have grown weary of paying outrageous amounts for office space and housing. So weary that they’re packing up and leaving. A recent report from the Dallas Business Journal found that nearly 300 companies moved to Texas from California in a years’ time.
So in effect, you could say Silicon Valley is a victim of its own success. Don’t be surprised if you read about even more companies moving here in 2019. I know I won’t be.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias