12 Best Tech Companies in San Francisco

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by Marisa Upson

Published August 11, 2022

Edited by Kelly Thomas
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San Francisco has long been considered the tech capital of the U.S., famous for startups and home to major tech giants. This environment leads to high demand and increased wages. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that computer programmers earned a median yearly salary of $93,000 as of May 2021. In San Francisco, the average annual wage in 2021 was $126,220.

Unfortunately, those salaries can come at a price. Working in the tech industry often translates to long hours and extreme competition — at least with some companies.

The companies that made our best tech companies in San Francisco list offer a different type of culture. Some offer great benefits, while others dove into the remote workforce model following the pandemic. All received accolades from employees or the news media, and all are located in San Francisco proper.

Best Tech Companies in San Francisco

Airbnb

Airbnb creates a platform where property owners can rent out their space, and travelers can search for unique locations to stay. The company started when three friends decided to make some extra money by renting out an air mattress in their apartment. Airbnb was born in San Francisco in 2008.

It offers employees a comprehensive healthcare plan, 401K and stock options, maternity and paternity leave, and work from home options. PayScale reports that Airbnb employees earn an average yearly base salary of $117,000. Even better? Employees receive an annual Airbnb travel credit.

Asana

Asana specializes in software-as-a-service designed to help companies with work management and productivity. In 2018, it took Fortune's number one spot as the top small and medium-sized company to work for. According to Great Place to Work, 97% of Asana's employees considered it a great place to work in 2021.

Some of the common attributes include a supportive culture and compassion. Fortune reported on the physical perks, including yoga classes, mindfulness training, and a company culinary program. Employees can also access executive and life coaching services. The result is a culture with minimal politics and stress.

Atlassian

Atlassian is an Australian software company with U.S. headquarters in San Francisco. It's known for Jira and Trello, tools used by agile development teams. Unique company benefits include five paid days a year to volunteer at a charity, an annual learning budget, and a working allowance to set up your workspace.

The company's team anywhere approach enables employees to work from home, at the office, or both. Employees can work away from their designated location for up to 90 days a year. A global presence leaves options like Australia, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more.

Dropbox

Dropbox began its journey in 2007, opening its San Francisco office in a two-bedroom apartment. Its platform allows users to store and share files, photos, and more. As of August 2022, the company's net worth was almost $9 billion.

Dropbox employee benefits include 11 company-paid holidays and up to four consecutive weeks of paid time off. The company also offers a monthly wellness reimbursement and allows employees to customize their benefits to align with their lifestyles. The company's 300,000 square-foot office includes a library, a deep focus room, and a karaoke bar.

Eventbrite

Eventbrite is an online event management and self-service ticketing platform. According to Forbes, it processes about 3 million gatherings every year. In 2018, it garnered a spot on the top 20 small and medium companies to work for in the Bay Area by Great Place to Work.

Eventbrite is all about health. It offers a $60 a month wellness stipend that employees can spend on juice cleanses or gym memberships. Employees report easy access to the CEO and a caring and collaborative culture. A Great Place to Work reports that 97% of employees feel encouraged to balance work and personal life.

Lyft

Lyft launched in 2012 and is considered the second-largest ridesharing service in the U.S. A few benefits for corporate employees include free snacks, 18 weeks of maternity and paternity leave, and assistive fertility services. According to PayScale, Lyft employees earn an average yearly salary of $110,000 as of June 2022.

The corporate headquarters is in a six-story modern building in the China Basin Landing complex in San Francisco. Employees can work in one of the many unique spaces, like the Willy Wonka room.

Reddit

Reddit is a social news website and a collection of forums where people share news, content, and comments. Users talk about everything, including pop culture, current news, comics, and film. About 52 million people use Reddit daily.

Great Place to Work reported that 95% of employees found Reddit a great place to work. Some benefits include unlimited vacation days and monthly global wellness days, workspace and home office benefits, and personal and professional development funds. Reddit also encourages an inclusive and supportive workforce through its employee resource groups.

Salesforce

Founded in 1999, Salesforce is the leading provider of customer relationship management software. As of August 2022, the company's net worth was about $188 billion.

The Salesforce tower is the tallest building in San Francisco, making for potentially great views. However, thanks to their "success from anywhere" culture, most employees can work in the office or from home.

Additionally, they offer monthly wellness reimbursements and wellbeing programs. They also provide work-from-home expense reimbursement. It's no wonder they earned a spot on Fortune's 100 best companies to work for list for 14 years in a row.

Slack

Slack is a workplace communication platform. The company launched in 2014, received 8,000 requests on the first day, and quickly reached unicorn status. In 2021, Salesforce acquired Slack for over $27 billion.

The company offers several programs that foster diversity and development. Rising Tides sponsors a group of diverse, emerging leaders, offering executive coaching and development training. Partnership initiatives include collaborations with apprenticeship programs for people previously incarcerated. One Friday each month is considered a paid holiday.

Square

Square provides payment processing, point of sale software, and other small business services. What started as a little white reader became an ecosystem of commerce solutions. In 2021, Square changed its corporate name to Block and, as of August 8, 2022, boasts a net worth of $49.59 billion.

The company offers competitive pay with an equity plan that allows employees to participate in ownership. According to PayScale, employees at Square earn an average yearly base salary of $117,000, plus an average bonus of $14,000. Benefits include numerous health and fitness options, development programs, and a free subscription to LinkedIn Learning.

Uber

Uber is a ridesharing company that also provides food and package delivery and tour vehicles. It was established in 2009 in San Francisco and became one of the biggest providers in the gig economy.

The company's headquarters contains 180 glass panes that open and close throughout the day, bringing in the fresh air. Employees can choose their office location and spend about half of their time working at home. In 2021, Uber filled 33% of its open positions with internal candidates.

Zendesk

Zendesk provides software-as-a-service products for customer support and sales. Founded in Denmark, Zendesk moved to San Francisco in 2009. In June 2022, the company announced it was prioritizing remote work for all employees. Benefits include reimbursement for home office equipment, including cell phone and home internet charges.

Zendesk also offers a FlexOffice program for shared workspace when employees need peace and privacy. Recharge Fridays offer one day off a month. In 2022, the company also expanded emergency time off and announced up to $3,000 in annual travel expenses for employees who need access to reproductive care.

Frequently Asked Questions About San Francisco Tech Companies

Is San Francisco still the tech capital?

According to Forbes, San Francisco holds the lead for early-stage venture capital financing. From 2010-2020, startups in San Francisco secured over $31 billion in early-stage funding. While other cities, such as Austin, are gaining their share of the nation's startups, San Francisco is still far and away the leader.

San Francisco also claims a robust local tech sector and a well-developed network. Younger entrepreneurs appreciate its nightlife, outdoor activities, and career opportunities. For now, San Francisco is still the tech capital.

Are tech companies moving out of San Francisco?

While there were some reports of a mass tech exodus from San Francisco, that scenario never materialized. A report by the Brookings Institution found that, while the pandemic brought some changes in the concentration of tech jobs, the established hubs slightly increased their share from 2019-2020.

The highly skilled workforce and innovative startups continue to define San Francisco as a giant in the tech industry. The allure of living in this environment outweighs the downsides, which include a higher cost of living, taxes, and city congestion.

Why are so many tech companies in San Francisco?

According to the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, over 50% of the city's workforce holds a four-year degree, and about 20% of residents earned a graduate degree. Additionally, almost half of those living in the City by the Bay speak a language other than English at home.

This diverse and educated workforce is one of the reasons tech companies call San Francisco home. Other reasons include its high levels of venture capital funding and U.S. Department of Defense spending. San Francisco also offers a beautiful environment, great restaurants, and an active culture.

Feature Image: joe daniel price / Moment / Getty Images

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