E-commerce company Shopgate moving U.S. headquarters to Austin

Germany-based mobile e-commerce company Shopgate says it is moving its U.S. headquarters from Palo Alto, Calif., to Austin.

Shopgate said it plans to hire 50 new staffers this year in its Austin office.

Shopgate raised $15 million from investors in January, and the company said it plans to use those funds to build out its Austin office.

“After a review of several cities in the U.S., we quickly realized Austin offered the best opportunity for the kind of rapid growth we envisioned,” Shopgate CEO Marc Biel said in a written statement. He said Austin is home to other e-commerce companies such as BigCommerce and Volusion, which makes it easier to recruit people with the right talent and experience.

“We need to have the right eco-system around us,” Biel said in an interview with the American-Statesman. “Austin is the perfect place to be in order to grow a company in e-commerce and mobile commerce.”

Another factor is the lower cost of living in Austin versus Palo Alto, he said. This allows companies to save money because Austin tech workers can be paid less than their Palo Alto counterparts, given our comparatively cheaper housing.

Increasingly, e-commerce sales are coming from mobile apps or devices, rather than desktop computers. Shopgate helps retailers develop mobile e-commerce apps and mobile websites. The company has more than 12,000 merchant customers in five countries and 650 customers in the United States. One of their largest customers is Gameday Merchandising, a sports and event merchandising company.

Shopgate is planning to showcase some of its technology at Austin’s South by Southwest Interactive festival in March.

South by Southwest is “a perfect space for us to show who we are and to tell Austin and the U.S. tech scene that we are here now and we are serious,” Biel said.

Shopgate said it recently made several key hires from the Austin area. Those include naming BigCommerce veteran Hass Johnson as vice president of sales and Casey Gannon as vice president of marketing. Gannon previously worked for Austin-based Volusion.

Shopgate was founded in 2009 in Germany by Andrea Anderheggen, Ortwin Kartmann and Dieter Kartmann. Its total headcount is 175 employees in Europe and the United States.

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