Thrive Global, a start-up founded and led by Arianna Huffington that is focused on wellbeing in the workplace, is to create 40 highly skilled roles with the opening of a new software engineering centre in Dublin.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Ms Huffington, who previously co-founded the well-known digital media company, HuffPost (formerly The Huffington Post), said Thrive intended to hire people across product, engineering and design functions.
The ’behaviour change’ company recently raised an additional $80 million (€68.35 million) at a $700 million valuation in a Series C round, co-led by Kleiner Perkins and Owl Ventures as it looks to expand. It already has offices in New York, San Francisco, Bucharest, Melbourne and Athens.
The new investment is supported by the Government through IDA Ireland.
Expressing delight at expanding to the Republic of Ireland, Ms Huffington said the Irish operation would be central to her company’s future growth plans.
“It was firmly in my consciousness for us to come to Dublin. It was the combination of it being an amazing tech hub and having incredible engineering talent that drew us here,” she said.
Thrive, which Ms Huffington established in 2016, is seeking to end employee stress and burnout. The start-up has secured more than 100 organisations across 40 countries as clients. Companies such as Walmart, Salesforce and Accenture are using Thrive's artificial intelligence-powered platform to gain insights and help employees achieve a better work-life balance.
Ms Huffington said the coronavirus pandemic and the corresponding changes in working patterns had highlighted the themes of Thrive’s mission like never before, bringing employee wellbeing, mental health and resilience to the top of the agenda for all companies.
“Thrive is based on the assumption that every human being has a place of centeredness, peace, strength and wisdom in them. It’s like our birthright. Modern life and technology, as much as we might love it, make it much harder for us to connect to that place,” she said.
One of Thrive’s key features is Microsteps – small, science-backed steps that are aimed at helping workers build healthy habits. Examples of these include nudges to encourage individuals to turn off notifications on their mobile or decide a set time to put all devices to bed each evening. Another of its products is Reset, a feature that is available via Zoom, which is based on neurological research that shows it takes only 60-90 seconds to reset the mind to counter stress.
Hugh O’Brien, Thrive’s chief technology officer, who is based in Dublin, is spearheading the company’s recruitment campaign locally. Thrive Ireland Limited was officially incorporated with the Companies Registration Office in early July.
Mr O’Brien said Thrive’s new Dublin offices, which are located on Upper Mount Street, mirrored the company’s general philosophy and its idea for hybrid working with just two of the five floors having desks.
“Because of the timing, we’ve been able to design our office to meet the new needs for working. We don’t want to crack the whip and force people to go back to working how they once would have done. We’ve essentially built a post-pandemic office to facilitate people to work in the way that suits them,” he said.