It’s a trend Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard undergrad, led with Facebook 14 years ago—students founding companies in Boston and eventually moving to the greener pastures of Silicon Valley. Harvard postdoctoral fellow Cheng-Ping Yu followed the trend with his startup Phiar, an augmented reality navigation system, just this year.
As the No. 1 area that attracts more venture capital than almost any other part of the country, Silicon Valley is still perceived as the Mecca for startups and hence, venture capital investors. But the region’s allure may be winding down, a trend some people call, the “Bay Area exodus”—companies moving headquarters out of Silicon Valley and its housing costs, traffic congestion and higher taxes.
The latest company to join the there-and-back-again club is Plastiq, a startup that lets users pay by credit card even where cards are not accepted.
The six-year-old company said on Friday it is moving back to its hometown Boston, where it was incubated at the Harvard Innovation Labs and founded in 2012. This move includes opening a new office and expanding its employee base.
Boston offered the best combination of an educated labor force, diverse culture, high quality of life and low crime rate, the company explained. A recent report also found that Boston is the best city to find employment.
Plastiq moved to San Francisco in 2014 after raising $10 million in a Series B funding round led by Menlo Park-based Khosla Ventures. One venture stage later, the company booked its return trip. In November this year, Plastiq closed a Series C round worth $27 million led by another Menlo Park-based firm, Kleiner Perkins.
“Plastiq was founded and launched in Boston and we have strong ties to the city, which makes it a perfect home for our expanding workforce,” said Eliot Buchanan, Plastiq’s CEO and co-founder, in a statement. “Located in one of the top markets for tech talent, our Boston office will be instrumental as we build out our team and continue to enhance our payments platform to meet growing demand from business owners and entrepreneurs.”