The 2,000-square-foot office that used to house now-shuttered dev shop Interactive Mechanics has new tenants: Philly-born ecommerce company SUMO Heavy, which just ditched its New York space to relocate in the heart of Old City.
The company, which got its start in Philly in 2010 but relocated to the 67th ward in 2012, has a staff of 15 — six of whom are based out of Philly, with others still in New York and Poland.
Cofounder and CEO Bart Mroz says the story of the return to goes like this: His business partner, Robert Brodie, first moved to New York after his wife landed a job there. Thus a mass migration began north. Over time, though, a combination of personal reasons, nostalgia and Philly’s comparative affordability landed the organization back in town.
“It’s Philly, it’s home,” Mroz said. “My partner wanted to move back and so we did. It’s personal, but it’s also about work. It’s a different pace than New York, but it just feels right for us.”
Cost of living and of doing business, Mroz said, was also a deciding factor. Is Philly really cheaper?
“By a lot,” Mroz said. “So much so that it led us to hire another person automatically, and we will probably open more roles.”
(Crossbeam cofounder Robert Moore can happily tell your more about Philly’s leverage when compared to more expensive markets. In his case, of VC dollars, but really of any capital.)
SUMO Heavy, which was born as a straight-up dev shop, is now an ecommerce consultancy that works with clients such as print supplier Pitney Bowes, swimwear maker TYR or sneaker marketplace Stadium Goods. It serves ecommerce operations in two specific ranges: those doing under $25 million a year in sales, which require a more hands-on approach, and those doing $100 million or more a year, which need consulting services.