Groupon Picks Up Some Ruby Developers From Chicago

Despite its ambitious plans to grow its pool of talent in Silicon Valley, Groupon has acquired Obtiva, a Chicago-based software development firm that’s focused on Ruby on Rails.

Groupon said in a blog post today that it has been working with Obtiva since 2009, and that many of its development teams include employees from Obtiva. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition follows aggressive expansion plans in the San Francisco area, with the specific purpose of adding more tech talent.

Groupon kicked off its West Coast expansion late last year by opening a 12,000-square-foot office in Palo Alto, where it hoped to build a tech team that could work directly with its Chicago-based employees.

It lists roughly 30 job openings for the Silicon Valley office on its Web site.

At D9 in June, Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason lamented that his “biggest mistake was waiting to open an office in Silicon Valley,” adding that Chicago is a great town, “but it doesn’t have the depth of talent that you guys have.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik