Terminal Tapping Local Talent for U.S. Firms

A startup that connects high-growth American tech companies with software developers from Waterloo Region has secured $13 million in funding from some of the leading venture capitalists in the United States.

Terminal officially opened its 17,000-square-foot office in downtown Kitchener two weeks ago. That's where 70 software developers work for companies such as Zenreach, Hims, Bungalow and TalkIQ.

The round of investment the San Francisco-based company announced Tuesday comes from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Thiel Capital, Atomic, Craft Ventures and Yahoo founder Jerry Yang.

Terminal said it will use the funds to build more technical teams at its offices in Kitchener, Montreal and Vancouver.

The company plans to open a Toronto office during the next six months, said Nabil Fahel, Terminal's director of strategic partnerships.

"Terminal provides high-growth tech companies with a complete solution to build and scale world class technical teams," said Fahel.

Terminal was founded by Jack Abraham, Luke Finney, Joe Lonsdale, Dylan Serota and Atomic, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that both founds and funds startups.

About 18 months ago, Atomic set up shop in downtown Kitchener. It leased space at 119 King St. E. and was soon amazed at the amount of software talent in this region.

So about 10 months later, Atomic launched Terminal and expanded into Montreal and Vancouver.

Terminal is all about providing software talent for fast-growing tech companies south of the border, where there is more competition for those workers.

"Atomic builds businesses, and Terminal helps those businesses find the best people to work on their technical problems," said Fahel.

For a fee, Terminal finds software developers for its American clients. The developers work in the Kitchener office — the company signed a long-term lease for the top two floors of 305 King St. W. earlier this year — and are paid by the U.S. firms.

Access to talent is a top priority for those companies, said Fahel.

"Terminal provides a solution to this problem by allowing tech companies to tap into a vetted talent pool, while enabling engineers to remain in their home cities," he said.

One of Terminal's client companies, TalkIQ, was recently acquired by Dialpad, another company in artificial intelligence space, for $50 million US. The 29-member TalkIQ technical team remains in place at 305 King and is working on Dialpad's toughest, technical challenges.

"We are very proud of that," said Fahel.

Terminal itself has 15 employees in Kitchener, and seven of them are women. Among the 70 software developers in Kitchener working for Terminal's clients, 21 are women, said Fahel. In total, about 85 people work in Kitchener. Another 40 work in the offices in Vancouver and Montreal.

"Terminal is creating jobs, bringing amazing companies to town, reversing the brain drain and working with the best tech investors in the world," said Fahel.

Terminal also announced Tuesday that it has appointed Clay Kellogg as its chief executive officer. He joined Atomic as an operating partner last November.