Silicon Valley Tech Startups Find A Second Home In Ireland

By Heather Somerville
San Jose Mercury News.

Trailing the trans-Atlantic moves of Apple, Intel, Google and Facebook, fledgling Silicon Valley tech startups are opening offices in Ireland.

But Ireland’s famously low corporate tax isn’t the primary draw for startups, unlike their predecessors, because U.S.-based companies are taxed on their profits, which startups generally do not have.

These startups are setting up their first overseas offices hoping the booming tech city of Dublin will become their launch pad to global success.

Dublin looks a lot like home: a young and educated workforce, global business culture, population thirsting for new technology, and Twitter and Facebook signs dotting the horizon.

Labor and real estate are cheaper than in other European destination cities and, more than the familiar language or palatable food, the city’s tech tenant roster makes Dublin feel comfortable to Silicon Valley transplants.

“It feels a little bit like a mini-San Francisco,” said Patrick Moran, chief marketing officer of San Francisco big data software startup New Relic. “All of our startup friends are there.”

In February, New Relic opened a Dublin office, the company’s first location outside the U.S., and plans to hire about 50 employees.

“Dublin is the launching point for our European strategy and an essential part of our global expansion plans,” said Chris Cook, president and chief operating officer at New Relic.

San Francisco-based Airbnb moved into Dublin last year, as did San Francisco cloud software company Zendesk. And San Francisco file storage and sharing startup Dropbox stepped outside the U.S. for the first time when it opened a Dublin office in early 2013.

More are following: San Francisco-based Yelp announced this month plans to open a 100-person Dublin office, and in April SurveyMonkey from Palo Alto, Calif., unveiled plans for an office in the Irish capital within a year.

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