Fast-growing sales automation startup Outreach scoops up Big Fish Games space for new HQ


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Outreach is moving to a new headquarters as the enterprise software startup has already outgrown its current digs in Seattle, GeekWire has learned.

Permit documents filed with the City of Seattle indicate that the fast-growing sales automation company is taking three floors at 333 Elliott West that total close to approximately 84,000 square feet. The space was home to Big Fish Games, but the game maker is also in the midst of moving to a new HQ in the Pioneer Square neighborhood.

It’s the latest sign of the booming tech economy in the Seattle region, following a string of IPOs and major funding rounds this spring. Outreach is coming off a $65 million funding round in May, bringing total funding in the 4-year-old company to $125 million. Outreach employs 284 people – including 200 in Seattle – and Outreach CEO Manny Medina said in May the company was planning to double its revenue over the next two years.

The new space has room for 350 people and should provide Outreach with room to accommodate that growth. The company plans to move in in November.

Medina can breathe something of a sigh of relief as Outreach has been bouncing around various office spaces for the last few years as the company grew faster than expected. This new space, which Medina says should be the company’s home for at least the next five years, marks an important moment for the company which almost didn’t survive its initial incarnation and was initially passed over by many in the venture capital community.

“It gives us a proper home, and it’s ours, with our own signage,” Medina said of the new HQ. “It feels like we have arrived. In the past we have been a little nomadic, with buildings that are not ours.”

As it gets ready to move into its new place, Outreach is looking for tenants to sublease its current HQ space, which the company just moved into approximately a year ago. Medina sent out a message Thursday evening to “Friends of Outreach” announcing the sublease and acknowledging the plan to move to the former Big Fish Games headquarters.

According to the message, Outreach’s current office is 26,000 square feet with room for 230 people. Outreach subleased the space in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood from Tableau Software.

Seattle’s tech boom is making it tough for fast-growing companies like Outreach to find space. Real estate company Kidder Mathews reports that the percentage of vacant office space in the region hit a 10-year low in the second quarter, coming at 6.8 percent.

A balanced market is around 10 percent vacancy, and anything below that favors landlords and leads to rising rents. In recent years, Amazon has gobbled up pretty much every available building, driving down vacancy. Kidder Mathews reports there are only 25 blocks of space over 50,000 square feet available in the entire Seattle area.

“If you think residential is bad, apparently commercial is even worse,” Medina said of the Seattle real estate market. “With Expedia moving to Seattle, everything is just being taken up. Amazon owns South Lake Union, and all the other buildings are taken, so finding a space alone was a challenge.”

Outreach’s increased commitment to Seattle comes about six weeks after Medina hinted the company might open an office in nearby Bellevue, Wash. as debate raged at City Hall over a proposed tax on big businesses. Medina called the so-called head tax, which would have levied Outreach and other companies making more than $20 million in annual revenue in Seattle about $275 for each full-time employee in the city, a “punch in the gut.”

The head tax passed in May and was repealed by the City Council in June amid resistance from the business community and a campaign for an initiative to defeat the plan.

Medina said he was serious about splitting up his team and putting some of them in another city if the head tax remained. But once the tax was repealed, Outreach wanted to keep the team in Seattle and later found the Big Fish space.Outreach uses machine learning to help customers like Cloudera, Adobe, Microsoft, DocuSign, and others automate and streamline communication with sales prospects. It offers one system to track all touch points, from phone calls to emails to LinkedIn messages. The software integrates with existing tools like Salesforce and Gmail.

The company tracks sales statistics, helps teams collaborate and sends automated alerts to make sure prospective buyers don’t slip through the cracks. The idea is to increase the volume of sales meetings and create a more efficient workflow for salespeople.

For the full story, go to the GeekWire.

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