Is Reddit opening a Dublin office?

25 Jan 2017

Alexis Ohanian on stage at the recent Web Summit in Lisbon. Image: Web Summit/Flickr

Reddit, the ‘front page of the internet’, may be the next born-on-the-internet company to establish an international headquarters in Dublin.

In the tradition of other born-on-the-internet companies like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google that have chosen Dublin, Reddit is likely to establish a small office to support specific business or tech functions, which may eventually grow in size.

A job post advertising a position in Dublin for trust and safety specialists/policy enforcement signals may be the next outpost for the company.

The win would be a major coup for Dublin, which currently boasts headquarters of the top 10 born-on-the-internet companies in the city.

However, the pace of competition to win investment by major internet giants was illustrated in recent weeks, when Snapchat opted for London over Dublin recently for its international HQ.

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With more than 250m unique users, Reddit has cult status as a bulletin board on every conceivable topic and wears its badge as the ‘front page of the internet’ proudly.

Founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005 while they were roommates at the University of Virginia, Reddit has run the gauntlet of every twist and turn a tech start-up can encounter.

It was acquired by Condé Nast in 2006 and in 2012, re-emerged as an independent entity.

In 2014, Reddit raised $50m in a funding round led by Sam Altman, including investors Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Ron Conway, Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto, valuing the company at $500m.

In 2015, interim CEO Ellen Pao resigned and original CEO Huffman regained the helm of the company, with plans to make more advertising revenue for the platform.

Last year, Huffman revealed a bold new plan that would allow marketers to sponsor consenting Redditors’ posts.

At the recent Web Summit in Lisbon, co-founder Ohanian kicked a Twitter anthill by labelling hashtags as useless for bringing good content to the surface, pointing to Reddit’s own system of upvotes and sophisticated algorithms as superior.

The company has been stepping up its game from a technological perspective, including enabling users to embed posts on other sites as well as official apps for iOS and Android.

Allied with a greater focus on revenue and the likely opening of its first overseas office in Dublin, there is plenty of ambition in the Reddit tank.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years