When CEO Dan Vetras moved the headquarters of Kollective from Sunnyvale to Bend last summer, he was working off a vision: Better quality of life for his employees, less overhead for the company. Now nearly a year into the grand experiment, he has good news — it’s working.

The company moved into its new 4,000-square-foot office space in the 1001 Tech Center in July 2015. Kollective relocated a dozen Californian employees here in the process and then hired a dozen more, including many from Bend. The company now has half its staff in Sunnyvale and half here.

In the first few months, Vetras noted that recruiting posed a challenge, with the Bend office looking for more applicants. But by the end of year, they’d filled all their open positions — and they’ll likely hire more. Vetras says drawing on the Bend tech network and word-of-mouth referrals helped build the company’s pipeline for technical and non-technical positions. He’s made hires who don’t need to move here, but still want to anyway.

“Being in Bend has made recruiting better for Kollective,” Vetras says. “We are interviewing people who have chosen to live here and who enjoy what the great location has to offer.”

Kollective's Bend team taking some time off to volunteer.
Kollective’s Bend team taking some time off to volunteer.

Kollective’s technology powers live and on-demand video delivery for large corporations. For example, Kollective’s customers include some of the world’s largest corporations, and Kollective’s product suite helps them live stream speeches by their executives or distribute video training to tens of thousands of employees. In 2015, they experienced 100% renewal from their customers.

Just last week, the company announced that it had raised a $12.25 million Series C round to fund its expansion into Asian markets, leverage its partnership with Microsoft Skype Meeting Broadcast partnership and fuel strategic growth and R&D.

From the company’s news release:

“Our product suite is expanding to help customers with new IT challenges including the proliferation of video as a strategic imperative,” Vetras says. “We are witnessing an explosive growth in enterprise-scale customers who leverage video as a key form of communication to dispersed employees worldwide.”

Dramatic increases in video traffic and the ongoing challenge of delivering software updates has large enterprises looking to deploy an infrastructure that can address their needs. This includes partnering with a cloud-based, content delivery provider that can be leveraged in multiple use cases within the network. Kollective is the only solution that can effectively and efficiently address all use cases.

So they’ve been busy. Regardless, Vetras has prioritized connecting the company and employees with their new town. They do a quarterly community service event, most recently volunteering at the Salvation Army. Vetras is also planning to bring the entire California office (22 people) up to Central Oregon for a weekend of Bend fun this summer. The group will also do a community service project while they’re together.

CEO Dan Vetras, left, and many Kollective staff. Also lots of plaid.
CEO Dan Vetras, left, volunteers at the Bend Salvation with his staff, and lots of plaid shirts. 

The CEO says that in the wake of the Big Move, he had enough founders and VCs asking him about how he did it to warrant preparing a deck. Now a year here, the office is full, there’s growth on the imminent horizon and employees are settling into to Bend life.

“It was a vision then,” Vetras says. “Today it’s a resounding success.”

Kelly Kearsley

Kelly Kearsley, the co-founder of StartupBend.com, is passionate about startups, entrepreneurship and Bend. In addition to writing this blog, she creates content and manages content projects for global financial companies, tech firms and startups. She began her career as a newspaper journalist and later worked as a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in WSJ.com, Money Magazine, CNNMoney, MSNBC and Runner's World. See her work at kellykearsley.contently.com or kellykearsley.com.

You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].
Kelly Kearsley