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Granicus Acquires Gov-Focused Software Company Calytera

Continuing its investment in products to help governments stand up digital services, Granicus bought the Texas-based company for its permitting, compliance and licensing software.

a digital rendering of a computer running software
Shutterstock/Andrey Suslov
A year after launching its proprietary platform for digital government services, Granicus is incorporating another set of permitting and licensing tools with the acquisition of Calytera, a software company with hundreds of government clients.

The acquisition consolidates two GT100 companies with overlapping trajectories, as both have been shifting their focus over the past year toward software solutions to help governments digitize business processes and citizen services.

Granicus’ software for government had focused largely on communicating with citizens and building websites until 2019, when it announced a pair of acquisitions and the launch of its own digital services platform. In April that year, the company bought the London-based Firmstep to bring its digital services software to customers in the U.S. In October, Granicus announced the launch of its proprietary digital services platform, govService, based on Firmstep’s technology, to automate back-office processes such as pet licenses, tax payment, planning and zoning applications and development permits. In November 2019, Granicus acquired Host Compliance, whose software helped local governments with digital documentation related to short-term rental properties.

Also in transition, Calytera in October 2019 became the new brand name of the company formerly known as CSDC, whose flagship product, the Amanda platform, handled more than 50 regulatory functions ranging from land and building management to public health, permitting, inspections, compliance, licensing and FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) services. The company said at the time that it was shifting its focus away from professional services and toward full-time software development. In April 2020 Calytera named a new CEO, gov tech industry veteran Zeynep Young, who reiterated the company’s interest in digital services given new challenges presented by COVID-19.

According to a news release today, Granicus intends to combine its citizen engagement software with Calytera’s Amanda platform to manage licensing, permitting and compliance.

“The companies’ visions are incredibly well aligned. Granicus’ scale and strengths in citizen experience and engagement are a strong force multiplier to Calytera’s deep experience developing sophisticated PCL applications,” said Granicus CEO Mark Hynes in a statement. “Together we will rapidly modernize the way governments build services and make them digitally available to their citizens.”

It’s been a busy fall for gov tech companies getting into the digital services game, and perhaps it’s not surprising after months of unprecedented demand for helping governments transition from in-person to digital services in a hurry due to COVID-19 and shutdowns. In October alone, Kofile acquired SeamlessDocs and OpenGov acquired ClearRec, both for the purposes of making their digital services offerings more competitive, and Salesforce announced its first purpose-built permitting and licensing applications. Meanwhile, heavy hitters like Accela, Tyler Technologies, CentralSquare Technologies and Oracle already have a foothold in the space and likely aren’t going anywhere.