SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development


San Francisco

Peter Bauer, chief executive of Mimecast, tells Director why North America was the best place to extend his company’s international presence.

(Excerpted)

When Peter Bauer started information management company Mimecast in the UK in 2003, he didn’t realise that business would pick up so fast.

Since then, the business has grown to employ 460 people worldwide and has attracted several investors.

A group of six employees were sent to San Francisco to start the company’s expansion. “The city is the birthplace of the hi-tech and software industries. By setting up there we could target Silicon Valley or the east coast of the city,” he explains. “We chose San Francisco’s east coast because our primary competitors have headquarters there and we felt that we had something to offer the market, too.”

The company based itself in the South of Market district, two blocks from the financial area, and hired a consultancy broker to help with starting up.

With the building secured, it was time to get to grips with Californian laws. “The rules are quite different and getting our heads around them was a challenge.

Bauer explains that California is employee-friendly in general. Workers have expanded leave options due to the Family and Medical Leave Act, and employers must be careful to treat their staff by-the-book.

Adding to this, more and more companies, says Bauer, appear to be moving from Silicon Valley to downtown San Francisco, making competition fierce.

The Mimecast office is located among restaurants, food trucks, farmers’ markets and coffee shops so the company’s benefits package includes lunch for employees four days a week, as well as breakfast on Friday mornings.

Read more: Director Magazine San Francisco