Texas Education, Training Content Developer Will Relocate HQ to Richmond

Vytal Studios to invest $6.8M, create 155 jobs


Education and training content developer Vytal Studios will invest $6.8 million to move its corporate headquarters from Austin, Texas, to Richmond, creating 155 jobs, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.

The company will renovate the facility at 1802 Semmes Ave. to include studio space for filming content and office space for development and post-production functions.

“With one of the largest skilled tech workforces in the nation, Virginia continues to attract creative, forward-thinking businesses like Vytal Studios,” Northam said in a statement. “Central Virginia’s strong education system, talent pipeline and quality of life have helped make our commonwealth an epicenter of entrepreneurial activity and technology growth.”

Vytal Studios was founded in 2018 and develops custom employee and online training products, including assessments to gauge aptitude, attitude and interest of employees or potential employees for jobs. The company plans to work with Virginia Commonwealth University to develop an “extended reality cluster” in Richmond through nonprofit One Vytal Difference. Further details have yet to be disclosed.

“Virginia, specifically Richmond, has everything an emerging creative technology company wants,” Vytal Studios CEO Jim Smith said in a statement. “Access to talent and higher education institutions, a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, local and state governments that get it, and just a super cool vibe that reminds me of Austin 10 years ago. I feel we can be a ‘Vytal’ member of the community and drive growth that draws the extended reality industry as a whole to a home in Virginia.”

Virginia competed with Florida and North Carolina for the project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Richmond and the Greater Richmond Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Northam approved a $500,000 Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund grant to help the city of Richmond with the project and Vytal Studios is eligible to receive Virginia Enterprise Zone Program benefits. VEDP’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide employee training activities.

“Our tech talent was a major driver in Vytal Studios’ decision to relocate from Austin to the city of Richmond and continue its fast-growing momentum,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement. “Virginia’s higher education system is committed to providing the training and opportunities to build the workforce of the future to attract and retain high-caliber companies, and we look forward to a strong partnership with Vytal.”