American cloud computing company Snowflake has opened its Canadian headquarters in Toronto, which also functions as one of its five global engineering hubs.
Snowflake initially announced its plans to establish a physical presence in Canada in June, with the intention to hire hundreds of engineers. The company already employs about 100 people in Canada across various roles.
“Our journey to build out our engineering hub in Toronto is just [the] beginning.”
Shannon Katschilo is the country manager for Snowflake Canada, having joined in October after the recent departure of Bilal Khan, who was OneEleven’s founding CEO until 2018. Prior to his departure, he told The Globe and Mail that Snowflake’s footprint could double as the company scales up its operations, adding that it will likely have a hybrid work model.
The Toronto location will lead a number of efforts over the next few years, according to Snowflake, starting with its native application framework: an integrated platform for building, monetizing, and deploying data-intensive applications in the data cloud.
“Building a massive product line like this requires world-class talent to solve complex engineering and product problems,” the company said in a statement in June. “Our journey to build out our engineering hub in Toronto is just [the] beginning, and as part of our growth plan, we are looking to expand our product/engineering teams.”
Snowflake added that Toronto was an “obvious choice” for several reasons, such as its pool of tech talent due to schools like the University of Toronto and University of Waterloo; the city’s open and multicultural environment; and its ability in attracting top talent in the high-tech sector.
Founded in 2012 by veteran data architects Benoit Dageville and Thierry Cruanes, Snowflake offers a cloud-based data storage and analytics service. The company claims around 6,300 customers, including DoorDash, Instacart, Airbnb, and Okta.
Snowflake, which is backed by the likes of Salesforce and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, raised nearly $3.4 billion from its initial public offering in the New York Stock Exchange. That debut makes Snowflake the largest software IPO at that time.
Establishing a head office and engineering hub in the city represents Snowflake’s latest investment in Canadian tech talent. In 2020, Snowflake acquired Toronto-based enterprise software startup Cryptonumerics.
Featured image courtesy of Snowflake.