Rideshare service Lyft announced on Tuesday it would open its first engineering office outside the Bay Area in Seattle, saying the location would give it an advantage in recruitment.
Initially about 20 engineers will join the Lyft Seattle office. Once a city that vexed ride-sharing companies with its strict regulations, Seattle now boasts engineering offices for Lyft and Uber.
“Given Lyft’s growth, it’s tough to recruit enough software development engineers to keep up with our growth,” said Rex Tibbens, Lyft’s COO. “It just seemed like a good Lyft city. It fits all our culture and norms.”
As rent prices in the Bay Area skyrocket, Seattle is on its way to becoming the second Silicon Valley for many prominent tech companies. Second offices there allow companies to attract engineers who want to add names like Google, Facebook and now Lyft to their resumes but avoid San Francisco and South Bay’s high cost of living.
Once only home to the engineering offices of Microsoft and Amazon, Seattle now hosts engineering offices for Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Salesforce, eBay, Dropbox, Uber, SpaceX, Taser, Palantir, Groupon, Hulu, Electronic Arts, Yahoo!, Pivotal Labs and many others.
Ironically the companies attracted to the city for its low cost of living are driving rent prices up and bringing the gentrification issues that have plagued San Francisco. The population is increasing quickly, and rising rent prices are pushing low-income residents to the outskirts of the city.
This is the second time this week that Lyft has announced it is sprawling outside its San Francisco headquarters. The company also said it would move some of its customer support team to Nashville, Tennessee.