The rise of financial apps in government continues.
On April 8, civic tech company Accela added Springbrook Software and SoftRight, two financial management software companies, to its growing platform of government apps.
The acquisitions are meant to diversify Accela’s services and will be rebranded as Accela Finance & Administration, a newly minted suite for its government customers. Both deals drew from the $143.5 million in new funding received in February to expand Accela’s Civic Platform — a cloud-based hub of applications provided by the company and its third-party developers.
Within the platform’s suite, Accela offers tools for utility billing, finance and budgeting, property taxes, and payroll and human resources. Strategically, the advantage houses multiple solutions under a single provider, creating a stronger service proposition for the Bay Area company trying to secure greater market share — and it estimates that $25.5 billion will be spent on tech by U.S. local and state government in 2015.
“The acquisitions of Springbrook Software and SoftRight opens a large, untapped opportunity in the finance and administration segment,” said Accela CEO Maury Blackman in a press release. “These acquisitions build out our Civic Platform for a more comprehensive offering — one that now includes the new solution suite for Finance & Administration.
In an interview with Government Technology, Blackman said the dominant value proposition to its government partners will be found in financial efficiencies, “freeing up time and fueling fast, accurate work.”
Demand for financial apps appears to be growing, with open data cloud companies like Socrata and OpenGov seeing major interest from cities and states. In April 2014, Socrata launched its own suite of apps for government transparency, while OpenGov, a startup dedicated exclusively to financial transparency, gained many new clients. OpenGov said that as of March 1, it had more than 250 governments across 36 states using its platform. Socrata reported that in 2015 it is likely to double its current customer base, from 200 to 400 customers, using its financial suite as a catalyst.
Accela has roughly 2,000 government clients that use its CRM, environmental health and safety, and land and asset management products.
Over the last year, Blackman said, the company has acquired eight companies: GeoTMS, IQM2, Envista, Kinsail, Government Outreach, Decade Software, and now Springbrook Software and SoftRight. Whether the acquisitions keep pace is unknown, but Blackman said his team is eagerly scouting for potentials.
“We view the Civic Platform as a one-stop shop for government, offering transparency, efficiency, cost savings and tools for engagement,” Blackman said. “We’ll continue to look at acquisitions going forward that are strategic and add value for our government customers, and the citizens and businesses they serve.”