High rents and property prices are the “underbelly” of Dublin’s tech employment boom, according to the founder of one of the world’s fastest-growing tech companies.
Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith was speaking as his software company announced 350 jobs in Dublin, which will double the firm’s presence in Ireland.
“Costs soaring aren’t good for anyone,” he told the Irish Independent. “But it’s the flipside of a boom. You can’t look anywhere in Dublin and not see cranes. Everyone wants the growth, and the jobs.”
Qualtrics is expanding its Dublin city office, which handles the company’s sales, engineering, support and services across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
It is also constructing a new building adjacent to the Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre at Clarendon Row which, when completed in 2020, will form part of the company’s 57,000 sq ft presence in Dublin 2.
Mr Smith, whose company raised $180m (€156m) in funding last year to give it a valuation of $2.5bn (€2.17bn), said that Qualtrics would look to deepen its presence in Ireland with the creation of more jobs here.
“One measure of a city’s success is whether it can get people to relocate there,” he said.
“Dublin has that now. You see Google and Facebook and the others all coming here. They wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the growth they’re getting here.
“We now work with over 1,500 organisations in EMEA and the success and growth of our business here is testament to the talent we have in Dublin.
“We are five years in, but we’re just getting started and by expanding our footprint, we expect to continue to grow at a rapid pace and create more jobs in Dublin in the years ahead,” he added.
Qualtrics software lets big companies measure customer and employee experiences in a variety of ways. It has more than 9,000 corporate customers worldwide.
Mr Smith named the new headquarters after Dermot Costello, the Dublin chairman who passed away from cancer earlier this year.
“Dermot was an inspiration to us all,” said Mr Smith. “He pioneered the success of Qualtrics in Europe and had a positive impact on everybody he worked with.
“He was one of Ireland’s best tech ambassadors.”
Mr Smith said that the cancer research campaign ‘5 For The Fight’, which was promoted heavily by Mr Costello, has raised close to €200,000 to date.
Ireland was the company’s first international office and it now operates offices in nine countries on four continents.
The company also received support from the IDA.