Australian Startup’s CEO Moves to Dallas to Lead Eight Global Offices

Willow, an Australian company creating "digital twins" of real-world smart infrastructure and real estate assets, announced that its Sydney-based co-founder and global CEO, Joshua Ridley, is relocating to North Texas to lead the company from Dallas.

“Texas is increasingly becoming a powerhouse for technology and innovation, with Dallas being of particular importance,” the company said.

The top exec of a startup with global reach is planting roots in the region.

Willow, an Australian company creating “digital twins” of real-world smart infrastructure and real estate assets, announced that its Co-founder and Global CEO Joshua Ridley will move from the company’s Sydney headquarters to lead it from Dallas.

Willow aims to accelerate the technology’s adoption.

Ridley’s Dallas move will “optimally position” Willow to expand in the North American proptech and digital twin market, the company said in a statement. “In addition, the move further solidifies the United States and North America as key and important geographic areas for Willow.”

The move underscores the importance of the Dallas market and its momentum.

‘A cornerstone market’

Willow has eight offices across the globe as of last fall, including two U.S. locations in Seattle and New York, but it did not list any in Dallas. The company said Ridley was drawn to the region due to the amount of deal flow in the commercial real estate market and the high number of tech companies operating in the area. It added that Dallas is geographically central to many of its North American customers, calling the city a “hub for Willow’s growth in the critical infrastructure sector.”

“Texas is increasingly becoming a powerhouse for technology and innovation, with Dallas being of particular importance,” the company wrote.

Willow, which has more than 350 employees worldwide, currently lists two open positions in Dallas. One is for an executive assistant to the CEO, the other for an “alliance director,” who will oversee customer strategy and account management, focused on the aviation sector.

“North America has and continues to be a cornerstone market for Willow,” Ridley said in a statement. “We are seeing our customers and partners increase their ambition and accelerate adoption as they seek to leverage the opportunities that digital twin technology delivers.”

Developing ‘digital twins’

Ridley co-founded Willow in 2017 alongside Adam Geha, Dale Brett, and Michael Easson. According to his LinkedIn page, before co-launching Willow, Ridley founded a company bearing his name that focused on digital design and construction services. Last year, Ridley took on the title of global CEO after Willow tapped Kevin Danehy as its North American CEO. Danehy, based in New York, joined the company from his previous role as EVP and global head of corporate development at Brookfield Properties, where he helped the firm deploy Willow’s technology at its One Manhattan West project in 2019.

Willow creates what it calls digital twins of real-world assets, including Los Angeles’ Hollywood Park and the under-construction Western Sydney International Airport. The company’s data management platform then collects information about the digital asset, providing insight for owners to take actions to help reduce operating expenses, while increasing things like revenue, risk management, and compliance.

Willow wants to bring an entirely new approach to the market, Ridley said. The company’s digital twin technology can transform the built world, challenging “the old way of managing building and infrastructure data.”

While not disclosing specific figures, Ridley says the company has seen an annual growth rate of more than 40% over a five-year period, according to his LinkedIn page. That growth is being fueled, in part, by a $43 million “pre-Series B” funding round Willow landed last September, which valued the company at more than $170 million, according to Financial Review, and brought its total funding to at least $83 million.

“A century ago, the built world was illuminated by electricity,” Ridley said last year. “Today, the built world is being illuminated by data and a new technology…and in the decade ahead we will see this accelerate.”

The story was updated with additional information about the company’s move to Dallas and its technology on May 9, 2022.

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