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avalaraTax automation software maker Avalara is leaving its longtime home on Bainbridge Island, setting up a new headquarters in the historic Second and Spring building in downtown Seattle.

“We are proud to have bucked the odds for 11 years and built a world-class business on Bainbridge Island, which is a huge tribute to our exceptional Kitsap employees and supportive community,” the company wrote in a Facebook post. “That said, over the past few years it’s become clear that to sustain our growth and our close-knit culture we would need far larger facilities than are available on the island, not to mention better access to the deeper workforce in the Puget Sound region.”

Avalara's office on Bainbridge Island
Avalara’s office on Bainbridge Island

The move was expected, with Avalara last year securing 36,000 square feet in the building and executives hinting that the company may relocate.

Scott McFarlane, Jared Vogt and Rory Rawlings founded Avalara on Bainbridge Island in 2004, embracing the remoteness and island culture of location, which is about a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. The company regularly hosts Tiki bar parties, and even once brought in a wave machine so employees could surf. Hawaiian shirts, with orange flower patterns, often are worn by employees.

Avalara's Scott MacFarlane accepts the award for CEO of the Year at the 2015 GeekWire Awards
Avalara’s Scott MacFarlane accepts the award for CEO of the Year at the 2015 GeekWire Awards

Spokeswoman Sheri Pollock said Avalara plans to keep its island theme at the Second and Spring building, which is being built out with its trademark orange color motif.

It plans to move into the building in the first part of 2016, with about 150 employees from Bainbridge making the transition. The company already has people working on the third floor of the building, with the first floor to be built out next year.

Avalara's new home at Second and Spring is just a short walk from the ferry.
Avalara’s new HQ at Second & Spring, just a short walk from the ferry.

Avalara, which sells subscription software that automates compliance with transactional taxes, including sales tax and value added tax, is one of the largest private employers in Kitsap County.

The company has experienced a growth spurt recently after raising $42 million from Technology Crossover Ventures earlier this year, a deal that followed a $100 million round from Warburg Pincus last fall.

That cash has been used to make a series of acquisitions, most recently Belgium-based VAT Technologies. That marked the company’s fourth acquisition so far this year.

Editor’s note: Avalara is a GeekWire annual sponsor.

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