Why 5 international tech companies built their US headquarters in Austin

June 14, 2017

Despite Austin’s rising cost of living, our city remains outside of the top 25 most expensive cities to live in. Pair that with a booming tech industry and the seventh largest university in the country, and the big ole town of Austin was bound to attract some key tech players. (Looking at you, Oracle, Google, IBM, Apple and Amazon.)

But it’s not just American techies who’ve taken notice. International companies looking for a U.S. headquarters have also recently turned their eyes to the Keep It Weird city. Take a look at a few global tech providers that made a move to Austin over the past three years.


shopgate office.jpg

Following in the shadows of e-commerce companies like Volusion and BigCommerce, Germany-based Shopgate relocated its U.S. office from Palo Alto to Austin in 2016. Shopgate creates mobile apps and websites for online retailers that integrate with more than 60 e-commerce platforms.

CEO Marc Biel said in a written statement that Austin provided the greatest opportunity for the growth they envisioned, noting the city’s vast recruitable talent and cost of living as an added benefit.



MVF first launched in 2009 out of London. Over the summer of 2015, the team opened its U.S. headquarters here in Austin. The company develops customer generating solutions for more than 1,000 clients from 15 industries across 120 countries.

Kester Hogdson, SVP of sales who led the opening of the US team, cited Austin’s chill vibe and more relaxed feel (which he said mirrors their UK HQ) as a leading reason for selecting our city over Silicon Valley.


purple fb.jpg

Purple launched its Wi-Fi data analytics solutions in 2012 from the United Kingdom. Since then, the company has reached more than 20 million users across 73 countries from bars and restaurants, the leisure market, hotels, retail, events, healthcare, education, malls and more.

With offices in England, Chile, Spain, Singapore and Australia, Purple launched an Austin office earlier this year to help grow the existing American sales and customer support team. Per a statement, the company chose Austin to follow the large tech companies that have already found a home here and to capitalize on the city’s reputation as a hub for innovation and rapid growing enterprises.



Singapore-based ReFUEL4 moved its California-based U.S. office to Austin this February. The adtech company blending human creativity with AI analytics to predict campaign success launched in 2012.

Vernon Vasu, ReFUEL4’s CMO, said the move was partially motivated by the company’s existing partnership with Facebook, which also has a major Austin office, in addition to tax breaks, lower cost of living and central-U.S. location.  

“Austin is also a really promising hub for us,” said Vasu. “Facebook obviously has a huge office here, and one of the concentrations for us here is the small and medium business unit.”



Babbler’s CEO and co-founder Hannah Oiknine recognized Austin’s vibrant tech scene as a potential city to house their team as they prep for a U.S. launch. Her husband, whom she met in Paris, also happens to be an Austinite, and when Techstars accepted the French startup into its spring 2017 accelerator program, the move became a no-brainer.

The French startup launched in 2012 and connects companies, reporters and PR agencies under a social media platform that utilizes smart search tags and a filtered matching system. Oiknine and her sister Sarah launched the French startup in 2012 and have over 900 companies and 5,000 reporters live on the French site.

“We’ve already generated $750k in revenue in France for 2017,” said Oiknine. “We’ve proved the concept in France, now we need to prove it in another country.”


Images provided by company websites and social media.

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