Business

San Francisco software firm opens Raleigh office in North Hills

The Midtown Plaza building in Kane Realty’s North Hills development.
The Midtown Plaza building in Kane Realty’s North Hills development. Courtesy of Kane Realty

San Francisco-based startup 15five, which makes human resources software, has moved into a new office in North Hills after seeing its headcount in Raleigh soar the past two years.

The move comes after the company’s outpost here grew from just one employee working out of HQ Raleigh to outgrowing the co-working space on Centennial Campus completely.

Emily Diaz, director of transformational services at 15Five, said the company’s employee base in Raleigh has grown to 42, from just a few remote workers in 2017.

“It is definitely a big upgrade” in terms of space, Diaz said. “We outgrew the HQ space. We loved HQ and we loved being with them but ...the growth was a little unexpected in some regards. The markets were just doing so well.”

Diaz was 15Five’s first employee in Raleigh, after she moved to the area from San Francisco to be closer to family.

A spokeswoman for Kane Realty confirmed the company had leased space at Midtown Plaza at 305 Church at North Hills Street — adding the building is now 100% leased.

Diaz said the company has around 11,000 square feet of space in the building.

15Five makes a software platform that is meant to replace the traditional annual review companies have with their employees.

Instead, an employee using 15Five’s platform would have a continuous conversation with their manager, so that there is consistent, weekly feedback between managers and employees.

Every week, an employee is expected to take 15 minutes to answer questions, tackling issues from performance to team-morale. And, then, a manager is expected to take five minutes to view the responses and offer feedback. The questions for the weekly survey can be customized as well.

The idea being that continuous feedback will keep managers more attuned to how their employees are doing and what concerns could be showing up.

“We are teaching managers how to be mentors and coaches rather than bosses,” Diaz said of the company’s service.

The company also offers a platform meant to make one-on-ones with employees more efficient and give employees praise for good work.

On its website, 15Five boasts of customers ranging from Spotify and Citrix to Mailchimp and the American Red Cross.

The Raleigh office is mainly made up of sales and customer support staff, and Diaz said most of the employees at the office were recruited locally. She said the office could reach 60 to 80 employees in the next couple of years — though that is uncertain.

15Five also has offices in San Francisco and New York, and a number of employees also work remotely.

The company’s growth has been in part fueled by a recent funding round that brought in $30.7 million. That money came in June and brought the company’s total funding to $42.1 million, according to Crunchbase.

The North Hills area continues to be an attractive place for companies relocating within Raleigh.

Advance Auto Parts, the national auto parts retailer that officially moved its corporate headquarters to Raleigh last year, said it would be moving from East Raleigh to North Hills.

The company plans to take up seven floors in Kane Realty’s newest North Hills tower.

The tower, scheduled to be completed in the latter half of 2020, is being renamed the Advance Auto Parts tower.

This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnovate

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