Granicus Buys Short-Term Rental Compliance Software Company

The sixth acquisition in two years by the private equity-backed Granicus will add the ability to monitor short-term rental properties to govService, a citizen engagement platform launched last month.

by / November 12, 2019
Under a new bill, any tax collected on Airbnb or other short-term rentals would be targeted to affordable housing. (Shutterstock)

Host Compliance, a San Francisco-based company whose software helps governments monitor short-term rental properties, is the latest addition to Granicus’ growing suite of software tools for interfacing with citizens.

According to a news release today from software giant, Granicus acquired Host Compliance to fold it into govService, a platform Granicus launched last month for governments to both communicate with constituents and deliver services, such as permitting, applications, licenses and payments. Host Compliance software purports to help governments streamline the permitting process for short-term rental properties, automatically monitor whether renters are complying with local laws, and collect taxes from them.

Granicus has been folding new companies and functions into its software platform since 2016, when Vista Equity Partners bought the company and merged it with a citizen-facing messaging service called GovDelivery. Host Compliance is the sixth acquisition by Granicus since then, counting Novusolutions for legislation management, Vision Technology Solutions for website and content management, IQM2 for meeting management and citizen engagement, SouthTech Systems for records management, and Firmstep for online services and communication, the latter of which was the basis for govService.

In September, Granicus also announced a partnership with Bang the Table, a rival citizen-engagement software company, to integrate their respective software tools.

For Granicus, the overriding goal has been to create a unified “citizen engagement platform” to manage everything from 311 reporting to FOIA requests, commercial licensing and residential permitting, workflow automation, online payments, communications, compliance monitoring, public input and meeting management.

For Host Compliance, which launched in 2015 and claims more than 300 local government customers, the acquisition will bring funding and connections to reach new customers and further develop its software. Granicus counts more than 4,500 federal, state and local government agencies as customers.

"While the introduction and expansion of short-term rentals carries convenient and affordable options for travelers, many communities are struggling to balance economic benefits with the challenges associated with unchecked growth, including noise, trash, and parking problems, as well as the long-term impacts on housing affordability and neighborhood character,” said Granicus CEO Mark Hynes in a public statement. “Hundreds of local government leaders have turned to Host Compliance, the clear industry thought leader, to establish sensible short-term rental ordinances and provide modern technologies that simplify digital permitting, automate compliance monitoring, and collect critical tax revenue.”


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