The tech industry in Arizona continues to grow, and April was no exception — companies from across the country and world continue to see Arizona as a great place to move or expand their businesses. Here’s our April recap of top tech news from throughout Arizona.
Moov Technologies shifts headquarters to Phoenix area
Moov Technologies, an online marketplace that sells refurbished semiconductor manufacturing equipment, announced its move from the Bay Area to Tempe in March 2021.
The move wasn’t a big shock, as Moov opened a hub office in Chandler in 2019. During the pandemic, the number of employees living in the Phoenix area and working at that hub outnumbered those working in San Francisco, which convinced co-founder and CEO Steven Zhou that a move to Phoenix would be viable.
MedTech company announces plans for new facility in Tucson
Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) announced its plans in early April to build a $65 million state-of-the-art facility in the southern Arizona city. The medical technology company will add this 120,000 square foot facility to its more than 90 other manufacturing and sterilization facilities. The facility is in a prime location for BD, as it’s centrally located between 8 of BD’s other plants and 3 of its distribution centers.
The company hopes to open the new facility in mid-2022.
Ruby continues expansion, looks for new talent in Arizona
Ruby, the Portland-based live virtual receptionist and chat company, announced in early April that it will hire for 100 positions in Arizona. The openings range from virtual receptionists and sales and marketing to account executives and VP of Revenue Operations. The majority of positions are for virtual receptionists, but it isn’t a bad gig: 18% of Ruby’s current employees have been promoted from virtual receptionists.
Pay for these positions starts at $15.75/hour, with the opportunity to receive incremental increases.
RevolutionParts plans major hiring in 2021
The fast-growing Phoenix-based company RevolutionParts looks to increase its staff by 40%, it announced in early April. The company provides e-commerce solutions for buying automotive parts. RevolutionParts saw major growth in 2020 due to consumers and manufacturers needing to buy parts online. This growth led to a partnership with Mercedes-Benz, as the official provider of the manufacturer’s parts and accessories website. In early April, RevolutionParts announced another partnership with Amsterdam-based automaker Stellantis. Through this partnership, RevolutionParts will revamp the Mopar.com National eStore and help Stellantis improve the performance of its parts department.
RevolutionParts is hiring a wide variety of positions, like senior leadership, sole contributor roles, and just about any other area you can think of.
Panasonic acquires Scottsdale company Blue Yonder
The Panasonic Corporation announced April 23 its agreement to acquire Blue Yonder, a supply chain industry leader with its end-to-end, digital fulfillment platform that acts as a “system of intelligence.” This brings both companies closer to achieving the mission of an autonomous supply chain.
The acquisition is a continuation of Panasonic and Blue Yonder’s strategic relationship that began with a partnership in January 2019. In November 2019, both companies created a joint venture company in Japan. Panasonic took a 20% minority ownership stake in Blue Yonder in July 2020. Through this acquisition, Panasonic will buy the remaining 80% of Blue Yonder’s shares, for $5.6 billion. This values Blue Yonder at $8.5 billion.
Phantom Space raises $5 million to try to become the “Henry Ford of Space”
The Tucson-based startup Phantom Space raised $5 million through seed investments in April. This will end up funding the company’s ultimate goal of being the “Henry Ford of Space.”
The statement might sound funny, but Phantom Space is really looking to Henry Ford as inspiration. They want to use strategies that Ford revolutionized, like mass production, to transform space transportation.
Phantom Space plans to use the seed money to expand its current 26-person team. The company plans to hold its first launch of its Daytona Rocket in early 2023.
Photocentric to move U.S. headquarters to Avondale
The U.K.-based additive manufacturing company Photocentric, Inc. announced plans to move from its current location in Phoenix to a leased 50,000 square foot facility in Avondale. The new building more than doubles the size of Photocentric’s current headquarters.
The Arizona Commerce Authority says this move signals a “rapid growth phase” for Photocentric, which, since its founding in 2002, has pioneered 3D printing and rapid prototyping.
This expansion is expected to create dozens of new jobs.
Knox Financial launches in Phoenix
The Boston-based financial technology company Knox Financial launched April 29 in Phoenix. The company is designed to help homeowners and landlords turn any property into a rental that can serve as a long-term investment. Founded in 2018, Knox Financial seeks to help any property investors with their rental property portfolio.
The decision to expand to Phoenix came as a result of the booming housing market and potential to see huge returns on rental properties.
Additional TSMC expansion possible in Arizona
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is the world’s largest contract chipmaker. TSMC has one chipmaking factory currently planned to be built in Arizona, but some connected to TSMC say there are up to 5 more plants being planned for Arizona.
In May 2020, TSMC announced it will build a $12 billion factory in Arizona.
This possible expansion comes as President Joe Biden’s administration prepares to spend tens of billions of dollars to support domestic chip manufacturing.
Two 2021 ASU grads have promising tech startups
More than 19,000 students graduated from Arizona State University this spring. Two of the graduates leave with blossoming tech startups, both aimed at solving problems in education.
Michael Wang created PeerSquared in 2018. PeerSquared is an online tutoring platform that connects students to tutors based on their individual needs. This platform also provides students with the opportunity to volunteer as a tutor.
Dylan Lang founded EqualComm, an app designed to bridge communication gaps between the hearing and deaf communities. Lang is mostly deaf, and says EqualComm is meant to revolutionize communication technology for the deaf.
LiveRamp expands, looks to hire in Phoenix
LiveRamp, a data connectivity platform based in San Francisco, announced it will build an office in the Phoenix metro area. This move will result in at least 100 new job opportunities, mainly focused in Customer Support, Customer Success and Business Enablement. LiveRamp is number 29 on Fortune’s list of Best Workplaces in Technology in 2021.
The multimillion dollar international company had Phoenix on its radar as a possible expansion destination for a while. LiveRamp CEO Scott Howe says there is a “wellspring of talent” in Phoenix, and that’s something the company is looking forward to.