As global startup investment grows, The Exchange has expanded into regions as diverse as Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and others. We have seen record amounts of venture capital coming in every direction we have examined. Within the United States, the story has been the same, with Boston, the Midwest, and Atlanta all having a good year. Denver, the subject of our attention this morning, is comparable.
We discovered something noteworthy after digging through recent venture capital data from PitchBook and CB Insights and speaking with a few local companies: venture capital results are rising in Denver after the city and its near-neighbor Boulder attracted massive investment from the biggest technology companies. Let us look at Denver’s venture outcomes, remembering which firms established themselves in the city and pulled in the workers who have subsequently seeded the town with technological expertise and cash.
When reading megatech financial reports, you will occasionally see how many people work for the majors. It is a sizable group. Alphabet, for example, recently announced that it had slightly over 150,000 workers at the end of Q3 2021, up from a little more than 132,000 the previous quarter. Names like Microsoft, which has a long-standing presence in Boulder, approximately 40 miles distant, have expressed interest in Denver. In 2018, Google spent $131 million on a Boulder facility, adding another neighboring example to our list. (Some IT businesses handle the commuting problem by having offices in both cities.)
According to the Denver Business Journal, Facebook began hiring in Denver in 2017 and opened an office the following year, at the same time that Microsoft constructed a technology hub in the city. In 2016, Zoom made an appearance in Denver, particularly, the city is also recruiting people from the “middle tier” of the tech industry. In 2016, Service Express, located in Michigan, built an office in Denver, demonstrating that the city is more than just a destination for the coasts to recruit personnel and rent offices.
The major Denver technology employers have well-known names, which is more to our liking. The Denver Business Journal created a list that included HR platform Gusto and edtech firm Guild Education as two of the city’s greatest employers. Gusto had 800 of its 1,400 employees in Denver in March, according to the newspaper, while Guild had 650 of its 768 employees in Denver earlier this year. Exploring the history of Denver and Boulder revealed a significantly more detailed picture of previous technological investment than we had imagined. The fact that so many firms have established roots in the Denver region demonstrates how far technology has progressed.