Founded in 2012, the SmartThings team, with fewer than 50 employees, will relocate to Palo Alto, CEO Alex Hawkinson told the Washington Post. The company was only in “tens of thousands” of homes earlier this year, according to Forbes, but growing by 20 percent monthly since then.
The opportunity for technology developed in the District to be used globally is clearly worth cheering. The attention for a D.C. company and the wealth creation and experience afforded to talent with ties here are also pluses.
But when a young, strong company is scooped up and taken elsewhere, there’s an inevitable sense that its opportunity to have a lasting economic or cultural impact has been lost.
Still, how can one not be captivated by its distinctly D.C. pathway? The company launched with a $1.2 million oversubscribed Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and grew out of the Canvas coworking space. The founding team, with established ties here, was behind SMB Live, which sold to ReachLocal.