A $1bn US clothes rental company is to open its first international technology office in Galway.
Rent the Runway aims to hire 150 engineers and tech developers over the next three years. It said the prospective team, to be based in the historic Claddagh area of Galway city centre, "will tackle core technology challenges that are critical to Rent the Runway’s overall success and will influence the future of the next generation of services".
The project is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.
The new international office in Galway will enable the company to expand its engineering and product development footprint.
It said new employees will have the opportunity to launch or grow their careers across a number of roles in software engineering and development.
The centre in Galway will be the first operation for Rent the Runway outside of the US. The privately owned company has five physical locations in the US, 11 million members, and 1,800 employees, 93% of whom are female, multiracial and/or minority.
“We are thrilled to open our first-ever international office in Galway, where we’ve had overwhelming support from the Irish Government and the IDA. From the start, it was clear that Galway was the perfect location for our new office," said Rent the Runway chief technology officer, Josh Builder.
"The city has an atmosphere of creativity, mirrors Rent the Runway’s cultural values, and excitingly, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2020.
"There’s an incredible opportunity to tap into the growing STEM talent in the region, and we’re eager to begin establishing our Irish footprint."
Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Heather Humphreys, welcomed the announcement, saying: “Ireland warmly welcomes new firms in niche, highly skilled areas and Rent the Runway will join a growing number of disruptive companies based here. I wish them well for the future.”
Rent the Runway’s Galway office will be temporarily located at the Portershed. The company expects to relocate to a more permanent home in late summer this year at the newly-renovated Piscatorial School building.
IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan said: “This is an excellent investment by this leading, innovative company from the US East Coast.
"Galway, with its vibrant and growing technology ecosystem, is proving a most attractive location for investment and Rent the Runway choosing to locate its first-ever international technology office here will further enhance that reputation."
RTR was founded in 2009 by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss "as an answer to the modern woman’s desire for constant newness by offering a rotating wardrobe".