Smarkets, a fast-growing betting startup headquartered in London, has opened a new office in the US as it looks to secure its post-Brexit future.
Jason Trost, Smarkets CEO and founder, told Business Insider last September that Brexit gave him the impetus to open a US office “sooner rather than later.”
The new office is in Santa Monica, Los Angeles (LA), California.
“Our primary reason to open the office was to capture software engineering talent in California, which is in abundance,” Trost told Business Insider by email.
Trost went on to highlight that LA’s tech scene is becoming “more interesting” as a result of Snap, which is also based in the city and is due to IPO.
“Many engineers are moving to LA given recent developments in Silicon Valley (price etc) so we are benefitting from this,” said Trost. “LA has many industries such as industrial, aerospace, film and seemed like a cosmopolitan place to set up — this mirrors the culture at our London headquarters (we have 26 nationalities at Smarkets) and it is crucial for us to keep the same values.”
While many startups have been vocal about their Brexit dismay, Smarkets is one of the first to actually start shifting its operations overseas as a result of the vote on June 23.
Last September, Trost said that Smarkets, which classes itself as a peer-to-peer betting exchange and has annual revenues of more £20 million, will gradually shift its focus towards the US and away from the UK.
“That [US] office will become bigger than the London office over time,” said Trost last September.
Trost was keen to stress that the London office will remain in operation after the US office is opened but admitted that it will become less important.