A London startup that has raised $22 million is expanding its US empire from San Francisco to Dallas

Digital ShadowsLevel39/DigitalShadows.The Digital Shadows team.

Digital Shadows — a cybersecurity startup that searches the darkest corners of the internet looking for the chatter associated with threats against specific organisations — is looking for talented technology workers in Dallas, Texas.

The company, founded in London in 2011, helps close to 100 firms to protect their networks’ from hackers. Investors have backed the company with $22 million (£15 million), which has helped it expand into the US.

Digital Shadows, which employs 82 people worldwide, opened its first US office in San Francisco last year, but a few weeks ago it opened a second US outpost in Dallas, Texas, where engineer salaries and living costs are significantly lower.

“America is a diverse country and there are some great centres of excellence,” said cofounder and CTO James Chappell in an interview with Business Insider. “Dallas has a fantastic technology sector. We’ve got SXSW in Austin so that’s built a nice little hub there. Dallas’ role in the telecoms industry means there is a great technical community there also. Most large telecoms vendors have a presence. I started my career working for Nortel and that was where they based themselves.”

The best engineers can demand salaries of $150,000 (£101,000) in San Francisco, with tech giants like Google and Facebook willing to pay vast sums to ensure the most talented developers don’t go to the startup down the road. Property prices in the city are also among the highest in the world.

“I think San Francisco is a good place to burn money,” said Chappell. “The cost of operating businesses out there is not insignificant.”

Chappell added that the technical ecosystem in San Francisco is “unbelievable,” saying that it’s a particularly good place to be if you want to raise money.

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