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CivicPlus Takes On Private Equity Owners in $290M Deal

Insight Partners, which has done several high-profile deals in the gov tech space in recent years, has bought a majority stake in CivicPlus, a popular website builder and software vendor for local governments.

CivicPlus, a software vendor and one of the most prolific website builders for local government, has secured one of the largest investments in gov tech history — a move that signals it’s on the move to acquire more companies in the space.

The New York venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners has bought majority ownership of CivicPlus for $290 million. That kind of money is rare in the gov tech space outside of corporate acquisitions; the only deal that may have surpassed it in recent years was when Berkshire Partners bought a majority stake in Accela in 2017.

The company’s new owners have been one of the most active gov tech investors in recent years, regularly churning out high-dollar value deals. Insight participated in a $40 million fundraising round for the transit tech company Optibus in 2018, then put more than $100 million down on the digital services startup PayIt in 2019, and then led an $89 million round for the emergency response vendor RapidSOS earlier this year.

“Insight Partners is dedicated to high-growth software companies,” said CivicPlus CEO Brian Rempe in a press release. “They have extensive expertise and have successfully supported many technology innovators on the brink of revolutionizing user experiences. Insight understands the fundamental changes in the relationship between local governments and their citizens, and they value our vision of enabling civic leaders to optimize that relationship.”

CivicPlus has turned to investment money in recent years to fund a spree of acquisitions, from Rec1 in 2017 to SeeClickFix in 2019, that have helped the company expand its business far beyond websites. The company now sells tools to government for human resources, parks and recreation, board meetings, mass notifications and more.

Another $290 million will enable more mergers in the years ahead.

“We will use this investment to fund strategic acquisitions and accelerate the build-out of our Civic Experience Platform,” Rempe said. “Citizens expect personalized, one-stop, frictionless interactions with their local government. Citizens feel a sense of trust and appreciation for their local governments like never before, but they also expect a level of digital accessibility that until now was absent in the public sector.”

Demand in many areas of gov tech has jumped during the COVID-19 pandemic, with agencies looking to technology to shift services online and help deal with unprecedented burdens.

CivicPlus has more than 4,000 local government customers, according to the statement.