Software company Vobile will expand its Gainesville footprint with a 10,000-square-foot facility at San Felasco Tech City and 70 jobs, hoping to settle into the new Alachua building in October.
Started by UF graduate Yangbin Wang in 2005, the company has grown to 450 employees and locations in Los Angeles, New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Britt Woodall, Vobile’s director of special projects, said conversations around UF and expanding into Florida started a few years ago within the company. Woodall, also a UF graduate, returned to Gainesville last March to begin the first part of that expansion, with the first part now culminating in the new facility.
“We’re looking over the next number of years of increasing [the new site] to also include other operations coming here,” Woodall said in a phone interview.
The expansion started 17 months ago with Woodall and one other employee but has grown to 37 Alachua County employees. Woodall said the company has maxed out its space at Santa Fe College’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development in Gainesville. The Tech City location will allow up to 70 employees, from engineers to content creators and nontechnical careers.
Vobile works with movie and entertainment companies to track the use of their content, looking at where and how it’s being used. Woodall said someone in Gainesville may be responsible for managing the YouTube channel of major studios, posting and analyzing trailers for upcoming movies.
He said UF and its graduates were a big draw for the company. The university has pushed artificial intelligence learning at every level and within all 16 colleges. Woodall said that expertise will help Vobile sift through piles of data for clients and look to automate the process.
“That’s a big, big point of being here in Alachua County—because of its proximity to UF,” Britt said. “It just makes it a great fit. We’re actively talking with the different colleges.”
According to a Tuesday press release, the company plans to hire hundreds of employees from the area in the coming years.
San Felasco Tech City (SFTC) is still finishing the construction of Vobile’s Florida headquarters, serving as a research and development and operations center.
“We are excited to welcome Vobile to San Felasco Tech City,” said Mitch Glaeser, CEO of the Emory Group Companies that owns SFTC. “Their expertise in digital content protection will only further enhance the thriving tech community here.”
Opened in 2019, SFTC combines commercial and residential zoning on 82 acres in the city of Alachua. The community is located along US 441 north of Gainesville and has worked to draw businesses to the site.
Gainesville startup Fracture was the first business to move into SFTC, now with 30,000 square feet of space. In 2023, Menadier Engineering moved into the community and then expanded a few months later. Okito America opened a new location in August, and Beaker and Flask launched in January before winning an excellence award in July.