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Outdoor Tech Firm Kalkomey Acquired by PE Firm Macquarie

Kalkomey, previously owned by a Boston-based private equity firm, sells outdoor certification and safety education tools to all U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Macquarie is increasingly active in gov tech deals.

The view while hiking near a small body of water, on Rattlesnake Mountain, in King County, Washington.
Kalkomey, a nearly 30-year-old Texas firm that sells outdoor certification courses used by states, has a new owner, Macquarie Capital.

This latest deal involves two increasingly active parts of government technology: private equity and recreation.

Australia-based Macquarie Capital, the main investing arm of Macquarie Group, takes control of the company from Boston-based private equity firm Cove Hill Partners. It bought Kalkomey in 2020, an early move in what has become an ongoing rush of private equity cash into gov tech.

This deal represents Macquarie’s 12th public-sector transaction in five years, according to a statement. Nearly two years ago, for instance, PayIt, which sells payment and other digital transaction services to public agencies, raised some $90 million from Macquarie.

According to the statement, Kalkomey has developed “more than 360 regulatory-approved education courses serving more than 110 government agencies,” including those in every U.S. state and Canadian province.

An example comes from Wisconsin — considered an outdoor paradise by many residents — where the state uses the company’s product to educate residents about ATV and other off-roading skills.

According to the company, its products train and certify more than 1 million people annually.

Outdoor and recreational tech has become a larger target for investors. Earlier this month, for instance, Providence Equity Partners, which specializes in communications, education and technology, put up an equity investment in Brandt Information Services, which sells services for hunting and fishing licenses and camping reservations.

As such investment happens, states are working to improve services for outdoor and recreational management, with Minnesota — the so-called “Land of 10,000 Lakes” actually has more than 11,842 lakes — providing a recent example. The general idea is to update the state’s outdoor licensing and permitting for mobile phones and other digital channels.

As part of the Kalkomey investment, Macquarie Senior Managing Directors Larry Handen and Jared Doskow take spots on the company’s board of directors.

“For nearly 30 years, Kalkomey has allowed millions of Americans to safely and responsibly experience the great outdoors,” Handen said in the statement. “We’re excited to build on this legacy by supporting the vital work of state, provincial and local agencies that work tirelessly to preserve and protect both people and natural resources.”