In March 2018, data quality firm Validity
opened an office atop One MetroCenter in the Westshore Business District of Tampa with two employees, no computers, and a vision.
“We knew we were going to grow very fast,” Executive Vice President of Sales Don Williams says.
Eleven months later, Validity occupies the entire 11th floor of One MetroCenter
, has 85 employees in Tampa, with plans to add 35 more in upcoming months, and a client list that includes eBay, Salesforce, T-Mobile, Time Warner, and Adobe. This week, the company is celebrating the completion of the three-phase renovation that transformed its Tampa location from a dreary former medical office into an open, upbeat space for a modern tech firm, complete with a game room featuring a video gaming system, a shuffleboard table, and cornhole. Williams says the amenities reflect the company’s “work hard, play hard” creed and its belief that employees are more productive when they work in a positive, fun culture.
For Tampa, Validity's rapid growth and the Boston-based company’s decision to locate a branch office here continue the city’s emergence as a tech hub and its growing profile on the national stage.
Williams, who has lived and worked in the area for 25 years before joining Validity, says he convinced CEO Mark Briggs this was the right market. Specifically, Williams points to a large sales labor pool to hire and train technical salespeople, the affordability of wages and office space, and warm weather that keeps staff in good humor. In addition to Tampa and Boston, Validity has a London office. While Boston is the company headquarters, Williams says the vast majority of employees are now in Tampa.
The rapid growth here in Tampa is noteworthy but not unusual for the firm. Shortly after Validity launched in early 2018, the company received an investment from an equity firm that focuses on technology and healthcare companies. Validity then acquired data quality software firm CRMfusion. On the heels of that, Validity expanded again with the acquisition of email verification network BriteVerify.
Williams says there will be several more acquisitions in 2019.