20 Tech companies with roots in Palo Alto

20 Tech companies with roots in Palo Alto




Palo alto is considered the gateway to Silicon Valley, and every year many tech startups are founded in Palo Alto or move to Palo Alto to be part of the technology fabric that has made Palo Alto famous.  Here are some notable technology companies that have roots in Palo Alto. 

1. Facebook


In 2004, when Facebook was then known as thefacebook.com, they leased space at 156 University Avenue, in Downtown Palo Alto.  Then in Feb 2005, Facebook leased 471 Emerson at the corner of Emerson and University Avenue.  In December 2011, Facebook, the social media giant, was spread out in about a dozen locations downtown, including the Magnolia Hi-Fi building and a small office space at 101 University and 1601 California Avenue.  At the end of 2011, Facebook completed their move to Menlo Park.  Facebook


2. Waze



Founded in 2007 with offices in Israel and at 240 Hamilton Street in Palo Alto, Waze is an app that allows you to see real time traffic by user feedback as a community based traffic and navigation app. It was bought by Google last year, but has remained separate and is continuing to improve its platform at its downtown office. Waze.com


3. Pinterest




The fastest growing social network site which features visual collections, sharing, and storage tools. Founded in 2009 and launched in 2010, Pinterest was located at 635 High Street in Downtown Palo Alto.  In the early months of 2012 the social catalogue site moved from a nondescript building in suburban Palo Alto to San Francisco.


4. DoorDash


The fast growing food delivery company started in February 2013  by 3 Stanford grads. DoorDash had just exited Y Combinator, and started out at an office space at 565 Stanford Avenue. They have since moved to 470 Olive Street also in Palo Alto. DoorDash


5. Tesla




Electric Automaker, Tesla was founded in 2003, by  JB Straubel Martin Eberhard , Ian Wright, Elon Musk , and Marc Tarpenning.  In 2009 Tesla moved its headquarters from San Carlos to Palo Alto, into the Stanford Research Park, at 3500 Deer Creek Road.

6. Hewlett Packard (HP)


hp garage life with five 1


Founded in Palo Alto in a garage at 367 Addison Avenue, in 1939 by William Hewlett and Dave Packard, HP is the most notable tech company associated with Palo Alto and Silicon Valley.  In 1940, Dave and Bill moved HP to rented space at 481 Page Mill Road.  Then in 1960 HP purchased its first building at 395 Page Mill Road, then Stanford Industrial Park and then the purchase of HP Labs at 1501 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto in 1966.  Presently, HP’s headquarters is housed at 3000 Hanover Street.


7. VMware


The cloud virtualization software and services company, was founded in 1998 by  Diane Greene  Scott Devine  Edward Wang  Mendel Rosenblum  and Edouard Bugnion. VMware’s first home was a 500 square foot office located above the Village Cheese Deli in the The Town and Country Shopping Center.  The company grew from five to sixteen employees and moved into a slightly larger space in Palo Alto.  In 1999, VMware moved to a small building within the Stanford Research Park at 3145 Porter Drive.  By September 2002, the company expanded into the other buildings at that location.

8. Box


Cloud content management provider and storage, Box moved into a 27,500-square-foot building on 220 Portage Ave.  October 2010, cloud content management provider Box.net, had doubled its staff to about 200 and had to move to its current Los Altos location. Box


9. Quora




The question and answer website, where user generated questions are created, answered and organized,  was founded in June 2010 by two former Facebook employees,  Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever. They initially occupied an office at 261 University Avenue.  Quora has since moved to Mountain View. Quora


10. Houzz




Home design inspiration company was founded in Palo Alto as a result of a home renovation project by married couple Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen. Two years later, Houzz moved out of their home, and into an office space at 310 University where it remains today. Houzz


11. Tunein


Tunein allows users to listen to over 100,000 radio stations, and 4 million on demand programs and podcasts via the internet and through their app. It was founded by Bill Moore in 2002, and formerly known as RadioTime.  Tunein moved to 270 university in September 2011 from Dallas, Texas.  Tunein


12. Google




Search engine Internet giant, Google, was founded in 1998 by  Larry Page and Sergey Brin and in February of 1999 moved into office space at 165 University avenue with 11 employees.  Later that year, Google moved to Mountain View as space became an issue for expansion plans.


13. Intuit


Tax and financial software company, Intuit was founded by  Tom Proulx  and  Scott D. Cook in 1983.  The two started Intuit, which initially operated out of a modest room at 540 University Avenue in Downtown Palo Alto.  Intuit


14. Skype



Founded in 2003 by Janus Friis & Niklas Zennström in Luxembourg, Skype is a telecommunications software application that enables video chat and voice calls from computers, tablets and mobile devices via the Internet.  Skype’s North American headquarters is based in Palo Alto at 3210 Porter Avenue. Skype



Online payment company Paypal, founded by  Peter Thiel  Luke Nosek  Elon Musk  Ken Howery  and Max Levchin in 1998 in Palo Alto, had their first office  located at 349 University Avenue. The second office was also on University Avenue, however, it was in the lucky building which also housed Google. Paypal


16. SurveyMonkey




Is a cloud based online survey company, that was founded in 1999 by Dave Goldberg, Ryan Finley and Chris Finley, moved into the 285 Hamilton Avenue, which is still their headquarters. However, in early 2014 they also occupied space at the 101 Lytton Avenue building. SurveyMonkey


17. Palantir


Palantir is a CIA backed company founded in Palo Alto in 2004 by  Peter Thiel  Joe Lonsdale and specializing in data analysis.  Its initially undertaking included work  for top Government branches like the NSA, FBI, Defense Department,  etc. Now it has taken on business clients as well.  It is currently headquartered at 100 Hamilton Avenue and  also occupies many other buildings around Palo Alto. Palantir


18. Logitech


Logitech is the largest provider of personal peripherals.  It was founded in 1981 in Switzerland by  Daniel Borel  Giacomo Marini  Pierluigi Zappacosta  and Jean-luc Mazzone.  In 1982 they opened their office at the “lucky building” at 165 University Avenue in Palo Alto before they moved to Freemont in 1989. Logitech 


19. Healthtap



Healthtap provides online personalized health information by medical professionals. Founded in 2010 by Stanford grad, Ron Gutman, it is located at 101 University Avenue with offices at High Street as well. Healthtap


20. Ning


Ning’s offers a platform for groups, organizations and individuals to create social networks was founded in October 2005 in Palo Alto by  Gina Bianchini and  Marc Andreessen.  It had initially occupied 285 Hamilton Street on October 2005, they later moved to an address on Emerson Street.  Ning

Were you surprised by our list and are there any companies that you think we should add?

4 thoughts on “20 Tech companies with roots in Palo Alto”

  1. Great list. A bit out of date but that’s to be expected in the non-stop, never-changing tech world. Some of these companies are in different locations (e.g. Houzz is now on Hamilton across from City Hall) and I’d add Flipboard to your list (founded by Palo Alto resident Mike McCue and Evan Doll – started near Whole Foods and still headquartered in PA with offices in New York, Vancouver and Bejiing). Sadly Survey Monkey is moving to San Mateo by the end of 2016 so they can expand their business – couldn’t do it in PA. :(

    1. Thank you Judy! I should create a new list and get some feedback from you, since I see that you are with the Chamber of Commerce. Sad to hear that Survey Monkey is leaving :-( Enjoy the Holidays.

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