New York City based company Rent the Runway (RTR ) plans to hire 150 engineers and tech developers over the next three years for its first international hub.
Describing itself as the company that created the world’s first living, sustainable, closet by enabling women to rent versus buy their clothing, RTR selected Galway after discussions with the Government through its development arm, IDA Ireland.
The company said the Galway team will be undertaking in-house software development unique to RTR as well as supporting US operations by working on existing technological activity supporting RTR’s mobile and desktop platform through which new and current users and subscribers access their services.
The selection of the city as the company’s first headquarters outside the USA is “vindication” of efforts and work of the Galway Chamber, Portershed, and the wider tech industry in Galway according to president of the Galway Chamber, Dave Hickey.
Mr Hickey said; “Rent the Runway looked at numerous locations in Europe but did not hesitate in selecting Galway for its first international headquarters when they saw the talent and potential that is available here.
“Rent the Runway is a welcome addition [to the city] and its decision to set up here is a vindication of the work put in by Galway Chamber, Portershed, and those in the tech industry to make the city attractive [to tech firms].”
RTR’s Galway office will be temporarily located at the Portershed before a relocation to a more permanent home in the autumn at the newly-renovated Piscatorial School building.
Minister Ciaran Cannon said the announcement endorsed Galway’s vibrant and innovative business life. Minister Cannon said; “I am delighted that fashion tech company Rent the Runway (RTR ) Inc, has chosen Galway as the location for its first operation outside the US which will lead to the creation of 150 jobs.
“This is another crystal clear proof of our county’s desirability as a place in which to invest and grow business. RTR’s move endorses further the confidence that already exists in Galway’s vibrant and innovative business life and it will fit perfectly into that scene.”
RTR chief technology officer, Josh Builder, said the company was “thrilled” to open its first international office in Galway and “the city has an atmosphere of creativity [that] mirrors Rent the Runway’s cultural values”.
IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan described the announcement as an “excellent investment” which would benefit the entire western region.
“Galway, with its vibrant and growing technology ecosystem, is proving a most attractive location for investment and Rent the Runway choosing to locate its first international technology office here will further enhance that reputation. It is also an endorsement of the confidence tech companies have in finding the right talent in the west.
“Rent the Runway will be a key reference seller for us in attracting further tech and consumer brand activity. This project from Rent the Runway is very much in line with IDA Ireland’s strategic objective to attract increased levels of investments to regional locations and the 150 jobs being created will be of substantial benefit to the economy of the city and west region.”
Founded in 2009 by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, the privately owned company has five physical locations in the USA, eleven million members, and 1,800 employees.