Ireland is a key hub for technology talent in Europe, young Limerick entrepreneur Patrick Collison said at the opening of A&L Goodbody’s San Francisco, California, office. A&L Goodbody is the first Irish law firm to open an office in the city.
The San Francisco office is A&L’s third location in the US and its second on the US west coast.
The office will serve the full range of US corporations doing business in Ireland, as well as Irish businesses and entrepreneurs doing business on the US west coast.
More than 200 of the firm’s clients and advisers attending the official opening. There, they heard from Collison, as well as John Whelan, who leads A&L Goodbody’s International Technology Group and is head of the San Francisco office.
The narrowing distance between Silicon Valley and Silicon Docks
Limerick brothers Patrick (24) and John Collison (23) sold their first company Auctomatic to Canadian firm Live Current Media for US$5m (€3.2m) when they were 17 and 19, respectively.
Now residents in Silicon Valley, their two-year-old start-up Stripe is beginning to make headway in the e-commerce space, and is now live in the US, UK and Ireland.
The company, which employs 62 people, raised its first round of funding of US$2m in 2011 from investment veterans Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. Further funding of US$18m followed in 2012 by Sequoia Capital, valuing Stripe at US$100m at the time.
"The Bay Area remains the hub of activity for entrepreneurs,” Patrick Collison said.
“It’s exciting here. I was at the Web Summit in Dublin a few weeks ago, and Dublin is the happening place in Europe for tech, maybe followed by Berlin.
“The corridor between the west coast of America and Ireland is facilitating and driving cross-border investment and entrepreneurial activity.
“It is great to see a firm like A&L Goodbody open an office in San Francisco to develop and build the bridge between the Valley and the huge talent that continues to come out of Ireland,” Collison said.
A&L Goodbody’s John Whelan said the Bay Area around San Francisco is the financial capital of the west coast and it makes sense for the firm to locate an office there following the expansion of its Palo Alto, California, offices two years ago.
“After San Francisco, Ireland is seen as the next go-to place for technology talent, with companies talking about their expansion from Silicon Valley to the Silicon Docks in Dublin.
“Our practice in California has been established to help US firms manage this process, in doing their European business through Ireland – something which we are excited to build on with the opening of our San Francisco office,” Whelan said.