Austin woos real estate startup’s HQ away from its California home
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Real Estate Exchange Inc., a real estate brokerage firm, said Wednesday that it is moving its headquarters from Los Angeles to Austin.
The firm, commonly known as REX, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to buy and sell homes. Jack Ryan, the company’s CEO and co-founder, moved to Austin last year, and other top executives like REX’s chief data scientist and national sales manager already work here.
Ryan said REX chose to move its headquarters to Austin because of the company’s success in finding and retaining talent in the city.
"It’s just a great place to hire individuals that fit our culture and fit what we’re trying to do from a business point of view," Ryan said.
REX joins a number of companies that have recently moved their headquarters to Austin. In December, Lottery.com, the digital lottery provider, announced its move from Silicon Valley to Austin. In January, South Africa-based emergency dispatch cloud system Rapid Deploy moved to the city to expand its U.S. presence. In April, European networking provider Brodynt selected Austin for it U.S. headquarters. Also this week, software maker Zoho announced that it is moving its U.S. headquarters from California to Austin.
REX has about 30 people in its Austin office, and Ryan said the firm expects to have more than 150 employees here by the end of 2020. By the end of this year, he said, the company will double its current headcount. The company does not release financial information.
REX has grown 300 percent year-over-year, Ryan said, making it necessary to be in a space that can quickly expand. Recently, the company moved to a 6,500 square-foot office near Interstate 35 in Central Austin, which can accommodate up to 60 people.
"We are expanding our business across the U.S.," he said. "It’s good to be in Texas because Texas itself is growing fast."
The headquarter relocation comes on the heels of a $45 million funding round REX raised in December. To date, the company has raised $75 million, and REX’s private investors include the founder of Best Buy, the founder of Crate and Barrel and the former CEO of McDonald’s.
Nicole Cobler, Austin American-Statesman (TNS)
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