by Lori Hawkins, Staff Reporter, Austin American-Statesman / New headquarters will feature gourmet kitchen and dining area, shower facilities and locker rooms. /
Austin-based uShip has outgrown its two downtown offices and is moving to a new headquarters on East Riverside as it launches an aggressive hiring plan.
The company, which runs an online shipping marketplace, will move to a three-story, 45,000-square-foot campus at 205 E. Riverside Dr.
Uship, which currently has 210 employees, will consolidate workers from its current headquarters in a renovated former general store at Third and Brazos streets, and from additional office space at Third Street and Congress Avenue.
The company will also push forward with plans to double its workforce over the next three years, CEO Matt Chasen said.
“We’re excited to get back into one larger space,” Chasen said. “It’s quite undesirable to be in two different locations. We’re such a team-oriented company, so it’s important for culture to share space. We have a chef that makes lunch for us all. It’s just much better if we’re all together.”
Founded in 2003, uShip runs an online shipping marketplace that matches customers who need to move large, unusually big items with thousands of transport companies that can take the load.
Chasen founded uShip with fellow University of Texas MBA students Mickey Millsap and Jay Manickam. They saw an opportunity to use the internet to make the shipping process more efficient, particularly by allowing truckers with partially empty trucks to pick up extra loads by bidding for the business.
In 2012, uShip raised $18 million from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The company has received a total of $26 million in venture capital investments since its inception.
The Kleiner Perkins investment allowed uShip to make a push into the $300 billion truckload freight market. It launched uShip PRO, which lets business shippers and freight brokers build their own carrier networks and manage and automate their shipping operations.
In July, uShip announced a partnership with DB Schenker, one of the world’s largest logistics companies, to power its online trucking platform.
Uship’s new building, which formerly housed the Capital City Trade & Technical Center, is being refurbished and will feature modern, open, collaborative workspace, incorporating both new and re-purposed architectural elements with exposed framing and natural light.
It will feature a gourmet kitchen and dining area, where the company will continue its tradition of serving daily lunch, cooked by company chefs. The company will also serve breakfast on Fridays.
Shower facilities, locker rooms and storage areas for bikes will also be included. Employees’ dogs will still be allowed to roam the halls.
The company, which is hiring in software development and sales, plans to move into the new space at the end of the year.
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