Whoa: Monetate will move its HQ to a forthcoming New York office - Technical.ly Philly

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Jan. 10, 2017 8:59 am

Whoa: Monetate will move its HQ to a forthcoming New York office

The move is a play to stay closer to NYC clients. The e-marketing company is keeping the Conshy office, but CEO Lucinda Duncalfe said “staffing changes” are ahead.

Lucinda Duncalfe speaks at the fifth annual Monetate Summit, May 2015.

(Photo courtesy of Monetate)

Monetate, one of Philly’s flagship e-marketing companies, announced Tuesday the relocation of its headquarters from Conshohocken, Pa., to New York City.

CEO Lucinda Duncalfe told Technical.ly over the phone that the company’s Conshy office, which currently houses around two-thirds of the company’s workforce, will stay put, as will the Palo Alto, Calif., and London locations, though the Philly footprint will likely shrink.

“The reasoning behind this is: we want to be closer to our clients who are sitting in the midst of the marketing ecosystem,” Duncalfe said. “And it’s all in NYC. We want to make NYC our spiritual head.”

Though the exact location of the New York space has not been determined, Duncalfe said it will initially house client-oriented functions, including executive, sales and services staff. It’s expected to be up and running by the first quarter of 2017. The exec, who became CEO of Monetate in 2014 and has overseen the company’s sometimes-rocky shift from startup to corporation, will split her time between the New York and Philadelphia offices, and will continue to spend time in Monetate’s other two locations.

Duncalfe declined to disclose the company’s current headcount, which we last tracked at around 200. The move to NYC is also a sign, Duncalfe said, of the company’s return to the “one-to-one personalization” space (which means retailers can tailor experiences to individual customers) which started 18 months ago. “That now is coming to fruition,” Duncalfe said.

Of course, we had to ask the key question that usually follows announcements like these. Any layoffs coming? “Yeah, you will see staffing changes. None so far,” Duncalfe said. “Our staffing changes are more around aligning behind our personalization drive than the NYC announcement. Of course, with any strategic move like this there are organizational changes. People will shift roles and shift in and out of the business as our needs evolve.”

Several employees have been offered relocation to the new office, and the company has job openings based in New York.

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“This is the first in a drumbeat of announcements,” Duncalfe said. “You’re going to hear client stories, personnel changes, product announcements over the next quarter.”

It’s not clear yet what this will mean for the Philly tech scene, as Monetate was arguably one of the biggest, most established tech companies in the region. But if making New York the company’s “spiritual head” is the right move for Monetate, might it also be the right move for the Philly tech scene, at least in the longterm?

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Roberto Torres

Roberto Torres became Technical.ly Lead Philly Reporter in May 2016. Prior, he was a freelance contributor to Technical.ly and Al Dia News. The native Venezuelan moved to Philadelphia in 2015 after reporting on research at his alma mater, the University of Zulia. Whenever he's not fencing deadlines, he can be found standing in line at Overbrook Pizza in West Philly, running Netflix/Hulu marathons with his wife or reading news from Venezuela.

  • Mike Krupit

    I know I’m sometimes the realist, not as much the cheer leader, but I don’t hear this as forboding Philly’s tech scene. When you say “might it also be the right move for the Philly tech scene, at least in the longterm,” I say “no, stay put, we’re on the right track.” Some companies that take root here ultimately grow to serve their team and shareholders better when located elsewhere, and that’s okay. The good news is that they take a piece of Philly with them wherever they go, and then we are there, too! (I won’t go into my sourdough starter speech again.)

    • Archna Sahay

      I agree with Mike!

  • Rick Bullotta

    They’re a fintech startup, so it’s a natural move and nothing to be freaked out about. Philly needs to nurture its healthtech potential and other unique growth areas. Pittsburgh is doing a great job of it, built around its university specialities (robotics, AI, cybersecurity). Philly needs to do the same based on the strengths of our universities and our major corporations in the area.

    • jgalvin

      Rick: Monetate’s not a fintech startup – they are Marketing Tech company. There’s been eCommerce/Marketing Tech companies in the philly area for many years.

      • Rick Bullotta

        Correct. Mental typo. Adtech/fintech still = NYC to me.

        • jgalvin

          Martech/Adtech/Fintech … all the same to you IoT guys! 🙂

          • Rick Bullotta

            Right to that. “Movin’ bits ain’t sh!t, moving matter’s what matters”.

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