Tech Town USA
2 global tech companies continue hot trend of moving into entrepreneurial Austin
Plenty of California tech companies have established satellite campuses in Austin or have moved their headquarters here in recent years. Familiar names in this category include Apple, Facebook, Google, and Oracle.
Now, two tech companies from Israel have joined the flood of businesses setting up shop in the Austin area.
Tel Aviv-based Rivery has opened an office in Bee Cave to support North American sales and business development efforts for its data management platform, while Tel Aviv-based automotive technology company REE Automotive has picked Austin for its U.S. headquarters.
Two new hires — Ben Flammang, senior vice president of global sales, and Kyra Purvis, vice president of partnerships and alliances — are leading Rivery’s new office. Rivery currently employs five people here but plans to triple the headcount to 15 by the end of this year. Across its locations in Bee Cave; Tel Aviv; New York City; and Washington, D.C., the company employs 60 people.
In a news release, Rivery cites Austin’s talent pool and Texas’ business-friendly environment as reasons for opening an office here.
“For tech industry workers in search of a higher quality of life, an instant 10 percent pay raise the moment they step off the plane, and a healthy work-life balance, Austin is an extremely attractive choice,” Rivery says. “The city has attracted thousands of recent newcomers with serious tech credentials.”
Another new arrival, REE Automotive envisions employing as many as 150 people in Austin in the next few years. The company plans to break ground later this year on its U.S. headquarters, along with a center where its tech products for electric vehicles will be tested and assembled.
“Austin is fast becoming a worldwide home for elite technology professionals. REE needs to continue growing and thriving, and Austin’s dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit definitely fit REE’s culture and values,” Daniel Barel, co-founder and CEO of REE, says in a news release.
REE and Rivery aren’t the only tech companies with ties to Israel that have been attracted to Austin. Others include Israel-founded Next Insurance, an online provider of insurance for small businesses that has an office in Austin; Israel-based Papaya Global, which operates a payroll and HR platform and has an office in Austin; and Israel-based Quali, a provider of infrastructure automation software that maintains its North American headquarters in Austin.
A 2020 report from research organization Startup Genome puts the Israeli combo of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in a tie for sixth place among the world’s top startup ecosystems. Numerous media outlets refer to Tel Aviv as the “next Silicon Valley.” According to Business Insider, Israel boasts more startups per person than any other country and attracts more venture capital per person.
“Israel’s heady mix of questioning culture, tradition of national military service, higher education, the widespread use of English, appetite for risk, and team spirit makes for a fertile place for fast-moving companies to appear,” the TechCrunch news website noted in January.