It can be difficult to relocate your startup to a different city, let alone a different country. But the tech talent and affordability of Portland, Ore., made it an easy decision for Aaron Ward.
The CEO of AskNicely just moved his company’s headquarters from New Zealand to the Rose City after it raised a $10 million investment round led by Nexus Venture Partners, with participation from Blackbird Ventures and K1W1.
AskNicely sells “Net Promoter Score software” that helps companies bolster their customer feedback process. Ward said the access to “customer-facing tech talent” in Portland was part of why he moved his HQ.
“Portlanders ‘get’ customer experience more than any other city I’ve seen in the world because the service culture here is so strong,” he said. “This means new recruits come pre-loaded with the customer experience gene which, in turn, helps us build an authentic customer obsessed culture. Another important factor is how the economics of Portland enable us to support a standard of living for our people that we’re proud of.”
Founded in Auckland four years ago, AskNicely has more than 1,000 customers and 50 employees. The company competes against the likes of Qualtrics, Promoter, SurveyMonkey, and others. Total funding to date is $15 million.
“We’ve been huge believers in customer experience as a major priority for companies globally, yet it’s surprising that most have no scalable way to systematically measure, analyze, and operationalize it.” Abhishek Sharma of Nexus Venture Partners said in a statement. “We were blown away by the ease of use and simplicity of AskNicely.”
Earlier this week, wind turbine engineering firm Diamond WTG Engineering & Services moved its headquarters from California to Portland, per The Oregonian.