TAMPA — Drift, which runs a business-to-business marketing platform, has opened a downtown Tampa office with plans to hire up to 100 employees by 2021.
“As we grow to support our customers’ diverse needs, we recognized that we needed to expand our footprint and seek out a location with a budding tech scene and a diverse talent pool,” Drift founder and chief executive officer David Cancel said Wednesday in an announcement of the expansion released through Tampa City Hall.
The University of South Florida, University of Tampa and Eckerd College are draws for the area, Cancel said, as is the Tampa Bay area’s base of information technology jobs, which are projected to grow 6 percent in the next five years.
“We’re excited to capitalize on this pipeline of talent,” he said. Drift has a “conversational marketing” platform that seeks to remove friction from the business-to-business buying process by combining chat, email, video and automation as a way for companies to start conversations with potential customers. Drift says that more than 50,000 businesses use its platform.
In Tampa, where its office has opened at 401 E Jackson St., Drift is advertising openings for an artificial intelligence conversation designer, business development representative and two jobs in customer support.
“Our city is on a roll when it comes to attracting top-notch companies and talent,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said.
“A major endorsement of our community,” said Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and a partner in Strategic Property Partners, which is developing the $3 billion Water Street Tampa project. “Having spent meaningful time with Drift’s leadership team, I am convinced they are building a truly next-generation technology company.”
Drift is not receiving any local incentives to aid in the expansion or the creation of the new jobs, Tampa Bay Economic Development Council spokeswoman Laura Fontanills said.