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Examining the NYC footprints of global tech titans



New York City has emerged as a technology powerhouse over the past few years.

The City’s namesake companies like WeWork, Tumblr, and BuzzFeed have catalyzed startup activity and inspired the next-generation of New York natives including Oscar, Warby Parker, Squarespace, Blue Apron, Rent the Runway — the list goes on.

Since 2014, VCs have invested about $1.2 billion in seed funding in New York-based startups.

As New York’s native tech community grows, more established tech companies like Google and Facebook have taken notice and opened up satellite offices in the City. These legacy companies play an important role in stabilizing the startup ecosystem here.

Their presence has lowered the risk profile associated with starting a company in New York — entrepreneurs find comfort in knowing that if their startup doesn’t work out, there’s a growing number of stable technology opportunities to fall back on (IBM alone employs nine thousand engineers in New York).

These companies also provide a training ground for many future founders — Jon Steinberg of BuzzFeed and Cheddar; Spencer Kimball of Cockroach Labs; and Matt Burton of Orchard; for example, are all former NYC Googlers (fondly dubbed “Xooglers”).

To get a pulse of the role these companies have played in driving innovation and catalyzing startup activity, we decided to dig a little deeper.

We turned to LinkedIn data to answer the following questions:

Just how big are these tech titans’ NYC offices? What’s the breakdown of engineering vs. non-engineering talent? How do these offices stack up to their west coast counterparts?

Here’s what we learned:

  • 🔥 These 22 companies alone employ nearly 20 thousand engineers in NYC.
  • 👊 IBM is New York’s biggest tech employer with 20 thousand employees and nearly nine thousand engineers.
  • 🏠 New York’s pretty important to Spotify. The company has 28% of their employees here, the highest percentage of the companies we looked at. 29% of their engineers are here.
  • 🍔 The GrubHub/Seamless New York office is an engineering powerhouse. While only 19% of the company is based in NYC, more than 30% of their engineering team is based here. That’s 130 engineers.
  • 📷 Snap’s NYC office is more sales and marketing focused. While 12% of their total team is based here, only 6% of their engineers work out of the New York office.

(Scroll to the bottom to see our methodology)

Here’s a breakdown of each satellite office

Here’s how we did it:

We turned to LinkedIn Sales Navigator data to address the following questions:

  1. What percentage of the company is based in NYC? We compared employees who work at the company across all geographies vs. those who work in the Greater New York City Area.
  2. What percentage of the company’s engineering force is based in NYC? Defining the roles that qualify as “engineer” is a bit tricky, but we landed on anyone with the job function “engineering” “product management” “arts and design” (to account for UX and UI designers) and “IT.” We compared these across all geographies vs the Greater New York City Area vs the San Fransisco Bay Area. (Note: We used LA for Snap).
  3. Within each NYC-office, what’s the breakdown of engineers vs. sales/marketing positions? Using the same criteria to define engineer as above, we compared the engineering headcount vs total headcount in Greater New York City area.

We’re not claiming our data is perfect (not everyone is on LinkedIn, and those who are self-report) but in the age of online-resumes, it’s safe to assume these numbers are directionally accurate.

Featured Image: Amanda Hall / robertharding/Getty Images



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