Sift Science, a heavily-funded San Francisco-based company that builds software to fight fraud online, is opening up a Seattle outpost, led by a former Amazon senior manager — becoming the latest Bay Area startup to open an engineering center in the city.
Some big-name customers like Airbnb, Zillow, and OpenTable, use Sift Science to identify bad actors by flagging risky or abusive behaviors before they commit fraud. The software helps e-commerce companies and other online brands reduce chargebacks, fraudulent transactions, and account abuse.
Sift Science employs 80 at its headquarters in San Francisco. The Seattle office, opening up in Westlake Tower downtown, will tap the region’s developer talent pool to build new products and tools.
“This isn’t going to be a satellite office where we throw over bugs or small issues … Seattle is the birthplace of many tech giants with really hardcore DNA in building first-class technology and businesses and we can’t not tap into that,” said Sift Science Co-founder Fred Sadaghiani in an interview with GeekWire.
Sadaghiani has seen that DNA up close. He met his co-founder Jason Tan in 2006 while working at Zillow and shared an office at Amazon with Matt Green, who will lead Sift Science’s Seattle office.
Green is leaving Amazon after 17 years to build Sift Science’s Seattle operation. He says he was happy at Amazon but the opportunity with Sift Science was too good to pass up.
“I like the product, I like the people, and I like the opportunity to build a team solving hard problems,” Green said. “The team that I’ll be building in Seattle will look, in composition, similar to the one that I had at Amazon. Mostly software engineers but some product management, some research science and I’m really excited about that.”
Sift Science is a graduate of Y Combinator with a whopping $53.6 million in venture funding to date. The company’s Seattle expansion is part of a growing trend among Bay Area tech companies, eager to hire engineering talent from a relatively less competitive market.
GeekWire is tracking the engineering outposts, which now amount to more than 80 satellite offices.