Wayfair, Cloudflare join growing group of international firms opening Toronto offices

Toronto

Two global companies, e-commerce firm Wayfair and software company Cloudflare, have announced plans to open new offices in Toronto.

Wayfair, founded in 2002 and headquartered in Boston and Berlin, has built an e-commerce platform selling furniture and home goods directly to consumers.

“Every time I go back to Canada, there’s a pulse of momentum of great companies being built.”
– Michelle Zatlyn

Cloudflare is headquartered in San Francisco and offers a variety of software products and services related to web infrastructure and website security.

Wayfair is opening an engineering office in Toronto and plans to hire 200 roles spanning software engineers, infrastructure engineers, product managers, experience designers, analysts, and data scientists.

The Toronto office is part of a broader expansion for Wayfair, which plans to hire 1,000 technologists for its engineering team this year. This is the first time that Wayfair will have a corporate presence in cities outside of its global headquarters in Boston and European headquarters in Berlin, though the company does have a fulfillment centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

Cloudflare’s Toronto office will be its sixteenth globally, and first in Canada. Cloudflare’s Toronto-based team and operations will be responsible for growing Cloudflare’s brand awareness, support and acquire customers, and recruit local talent.

Michelle Zatlyn, co-founder, COO, and president of Cloudflare, spoke at Collision about how Toronto’s strength in artificial intelligence and hardware prompted the company’s expansion.

RELATED: Geoffrey Hinton explains neural networks, Plaid CEO talks three waves of digital finance at Collision 2021 day one

“Every time I go back to Canada, there’s a pulse of momentum of great companies being built,” Zatlyn said at the online conference. “I want more Canadian entrepreneurs who are building their businesses in Canada to not just be the biggest in Canada, but to try to be the biggest in the world.”

Wayfair and Cloudflare are the latest in a swarm of global tech firms that have set up shop in Toronto in recent months. A particular focus for many of these Toronto newcomers is engineering.

Over the last few years, Twitter, Pinterest, Uber, HSBC, Punchh, Xero, and BFS Capital have all announced plans to open offices in Toronto, with several of those companies setting up engineering hubs.

Many of these companies have said Toronto’s strong talent pipeline drew them to the city.
Also at Collision, Toronto Mayor John Tory said the city’s talent pool is one of the factors that have allowed Toronto tech companies to thrive even during the pandemic.

“We’ve got to keep feeding that talent pool so that we can then go to the other countries and say we’ve got the best and the brightest here,” Tory said.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Nadine Shaabana.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.