NOVATO ? GoAmerica Inc., which provides communications services for the hearing-impaired, will move its headquarters from New Jersey to Novato.
The company, which overall employs approximately 650, signed a sublease last week for nearly 17,500 square feet in one of three buildings of the Fireman?s Fund Insurance Co. headquarters campus.
?We expect to make the move during the fourth quarter, most likely by November,? said Vice President of Marketing Communications Joe Karp.
?We chose Novato for quality-of-life reasons and recruitment purposes: the location gives us great access to professional employees in the Bay Area,? Mr. Karp said. ?Also, the presence of key staff in Sonoma County was a factor.? GoAmerica (NASDAQ: GOAM) has set up a temporary headquarters in Petaluma.
The relocation follows a recent series of acquisitions and a merger with Hands On Video Relay in the Sacramento-area city of Rocklin. GoAmerica is now the nation?s leading provider of onsite and remote video interpreting services for people with hearing or speech disabilities.
The company is currently integrating about five different brands of video relay, text relay, community interpreting and hearing-aid-compatible wireless communications devices.
While the process of rebranding is proceeding, the company does not want to release many details about its internal structure, according to Mr. Karp.
He declined to mention the number of staff members who will make the move from Hackensack, N.J. ? where GoAmerica will retain an office ? or Rocklin or be hired locally.
According to Novato city Senior Planner Robert Cubley, GoAmerica?s new space can accommodate 295 workers.
GoAmerica also will be staffing a dozen new call centers across the U.S.
To fund its growth, the company raised $125 million in equity and debt financing, some of which it used to purchase the Verizon Telecommunications Relay Services division, a leading provider of relay services.
On a trailing 12-month proforma basis ending in December of last year, the combination of GoAmerica, the Verizon division and Hands On generated approximately $110 million in revenue. GoAmerica?s revenues for the last quarter, ending June 30, were $30.6 million.
Text and video relay services must be provided for the hearing and speech-impaired under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
They allow a deaf or disabled person to type text into a computer, which is read by a relay assistant to the recipient of the call. Video relay allows someone to use sign language and send it via Web cam or set-top videophone to an interpreter who acts as a translator. Both services are subsidized by the government.
GoAmerica charges fees for community interpreting, which involves sending certified sign language interpreters to situations such as a doctor?s visit, where relay services aren?t available.
Another service GoAmerica provides is traditional state telecommunications relay, which enables a person to use a text-telephone device, sometimes called a telephone typewriter, to initiate and receive calls. The company has contracts to provide that service in California, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.
According to CEO Dan Luis, GoAmerica is emerging from its latest transactions with operating scale, cash flow, a deep pipeline of innovative products, leading strategic and financial partners, and a strong balance sheet to enable further growth.
?With the transactions now closed, we are positioned to hit the ground running,? he said.
Read all of the PD's fire coverage here