GrowthPlug, a healthcare software company, plans to expand its operations in Beaverton with a $1 million investment from Portland-based venture capital firm Elevate Capital. GrowthPlug relocated to Oregon from Silicon Valley in November of this year.
Co-founders Sudhir Bhatti and Shavita Bhatti cited lower cost, a higher quality of life and better access to tech talent as the main motivations for the move.
"It's a great place to live and work, we have a great access to technology talent, our office is located right next to convenient public transit and it's a vibrant, inclusive community," Sudhir Bhatti said. "In Silicon Valley, there is a tremendous traffic problem and the war to hire top technology talent is very fierce. We believe that having our headquarters based in Oregon will give us a tremendous competitive advantage because our operating costs will be lower, and we can still hire great people."
He concedes that Oregon has a smaller talent pool than the Bay Area. But he doesn't think it will pose a problem.
"There are a lot of talented people who already live in the area or are willing to relocate to Oregon," he says, "because of the quality of life, fun outdoor activities like hiking and skiing nearby, and less traffic in the area."
The Bhattis have already taken a remarkable journey with GrowthPlug.
Originally from India, the couple started the company after seeing a gap in healthcare technology. Shavita said she noticed a flaw in the patient experience at her dentist office in Silicon Valley one day.
"I asked him how he runs and manages these programs," she said. "In that conversation, we discovered a big technology gap that healthcare programs have been grappling with."
GrowthPlug builds an all-in-one platform that automates much of the office management at a medical practice—from web advertising to online patient appointments.
In November 2016, GrowthPlug was born. Shavita ran the business for the first two years and will now focus on operations as COO while Sudhir takes charge as CEO.
Nitin Rai, managing director of Elevate Capital, said his VC firm was especially interested in this investment since it's owned by Indian immigrants, one of whom is a woman. He said the firm's mission is "to provide funding to minority entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas and products."
"These entrepreneurs have a disadvantage to capital," Rai said. "Less than 2 or 3 percent of women get funded in venture capital. If you start looking at women of color, it's even less."
The company did not provide its revenue. According to Shavita Bhatti, GrowthPlug currently has 25 employees between its locations in Beaverton, San Jose, and India.
"We plan to hire 25 additional staff for our Oregon location and double our staff in the next 12 months," she says.