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Starbucks board member Clara Shih’s Hearsay Social sets up Seattle engineering center

Another Silicon Valley company is setting up shop in Seattle.

This time, it’s Hearsay Social, a software-as-a-service tool designed to help financial advisors and insurance professionals stay more connected with customers across social media, email and text messaging. The San Francisco-based company — backed with $51 million in venture funding from Sequoia Capital, NEA and others — recently established a new engineering office in Seattle.

It marks the company’s second engineering center outside of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The company’s leadership is familiar with Seattle. Co-founder and CEO Clara Shih, who previously worked at Google, Microsoft and Salesforce, was named to the board of Starbucks in 2011 at age 29. Meanwhile, Co-founder and COO Steve Garrity previously worked as an engineer at Microsoft’s Services platform in Seattle.

“Seattle’s deep talent pool is a perfect match for Hearsay Social,” said Bob Moss, Vice President of Engineering at Hearsay Social, in a press release. “I’m thrilled about having an engineering center here and the talented team we’ve put together and are committed to building, and we will continue to invest in our local teams to provide them with unique, growth-driven opportunities.”

The company, which is locating the new offices at WeWork at 500 Yale Avenue N, declined to say how many employees it plans to hire at the new office. Hearsay employs 160 people globally, and the company said that its overall engineering staff is growing at a pace that is 50 percent greater than last year.

Hearsay Social’s arrival marks yet another Silicon Valley company that’s establishing operations in Seattle in order to tap the region’s tech talent, which many argue is not as prone to the rampant job-hopping found in the Valley. In recent years, companies such as eBay, Twitter, Dropbox, Oracle, Uber, Snapchat and Salesforce have set up operations in the region.

A list tracking the engineering centers on GeekWire now boasts more than 70 companies.

Facebook just yesterday formally announced its new Seattle office, with room for 2,000 people. Google, with nearly 2,000 employees in the region, announced in March that it plans to open a new four-building complex near Amazon’s headquarters in South Lake Union in 2019, adding to its recently expanded campus in Kirkland.

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