AUSTIN, Texas — H-E-B has opened a new technology center here that also serves as the new headquarters for Favor, its wholly owned on-demand delivery subsidiary. The new facility, known as the Eastside Tech Hub, represents another step toward fulfilling the regional grocer’s ambition to become the digital industry leader in Texas.
The rapidly growing digital staff that works out of the Eastside Tech Hub will complement, not replace, the digital team that works at the company’s corporate headquarters in San Antonio. The Austin site will initially house hundreds of H-E-B Digital Partners (employees) and Favor team members, but it has room to grow as both H-E-B and Favor are actively hiring across a broad range of functions, including product management, product design and software engineering.
“Having a shared space like this is crucial to both H-E-B Digital and Favor’s rapid growth,” says Jag Bath, H-E-B’s chief digital officer and chief executive officer of Favor. “The Eastside Tech Hub enables us to have a strong tech presence in both Austin and San Antonio, while fostering a better connection between our teams across the two cities.”
Prior to its acquisition by H-E-B in February 2018, Austin-based Favor had grown rapidly since its founding in 2013, serving 50 cities throughout Texas. In 2017, it became the first on-demand delivery company to achieve profitability at scale.
For H-E-B, the combination gave it access to superior consumer-facing technology as well as Favor’s advanced delivery system and data. Favor, which retained all of its employees and 50,000 contract delivery drivers, or runners, has benefited from H-E-B’s robust resources, capital and retail food industry expertise.
The Eastside Tech Hub, which is located on East Sixth Street, occupies a recently renovated warehouse space that has been converted into a two-story, open-office environment that includes open collaboration areas, individual work spaces, meeting rooms and such amenities as a coffee bar featuring local coffee roasteries, a lounge area, a large events space and a wellness center that provides fitness classes, showers and even a rock-climbing wall.