Exposed brick and natural light are key features of Grammarly’s 3,000-sq-ft new office in Gastown. As previously reported on Daily Hive, the AI-powered writing assistant opened up a few months ago in Vancouver to complement existing offices in San Francisco, New York, and Kyiv.
Daily Hive spoke on the phone with co-founder Max Lytvyn about the tech company’s entry into Vancouver.
The usual tech industry perks are on display, such as free lunches, snacks, and beverages. There are height-adjustable sit-stand desks and plenty of meeting rooms for collaboration and meetings. The meeting rooms are named after local mountains — Cypress, Grouse, Seymour, Whistler, and Fromme — as a nod to Vancouver and to reflect the team’s love of the great outdoors. The office has a total capacity for 20 team members and, at the time of writing, has hired about half of that number.
After months of renovations, Grammarly’s new office is also set up to take the pain out of collaborating across multiple locations. “We invested quite a lot in audio and video equipment to make calls across offices easy and seamless. We wanted to make sure the team in Vancouver feels a part of the bigger team, and that there aren’t any barriers to collaboration,” says Lytvyn.
Lytvyn oversees all growth and revenue functions at Grammarly, including the company’s marketing and sales departments. Grammarly began off the roots of his previous startup, which focused on plagiarism detection on behalf of clients.
“We frequently heard about why people plagiarized. The most common answer is because it is difficult to take your thoughts and put them into writing, in a way that is compelling and makes sense,” says Lytvyn. “People find it very difficult and maybe even intimidating — so we got the idea to build a tool and make it easier to communicate clearly and effectively.”
While Grammarly opened in Vancouver to tap the city’s strong pool of talent, Lytvyn says there’s more to be done to raise the city’s tech ecosystem. “A big benefit of having more companies in the same space is that there will be more talent with diverse experiences and background. It’s beneficial for everyone, as it elevates the level of experience and talent.” He also isn’t afraid of a little friendly competition from other companies. “The biggest challenge right now [for Grammarly] is finding someone who has the right mix of skills so that they can be more productive right out of the gate.”
Lytvyn is also cognizant of Vancouver’s ongoing brain drain to more established tech hubs: “We sometimes hear from younger engineers or tech employees, people who may leave Vancouver for the Bay Area because they can get higher salaries. Or, they’ll go to other places where it’s cheaper to live.” It’s a trend that Grammarly wants to help reverse by creating interesting work and positions right here at home.
Grammarly is currently on the lookout for remarkable team members in Vancouver, with an emphasis on engineering roles. They may also be hiring across other departments in the future. Learn more about the current job openings on the website.