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Accela Acquisition of PublicStuff Signifies Maturation of Government Tech Market

Accela services now cover 60 percent of the U.S. population.

After raising a landmark $143.5 million investment in February, civic engagement firm Accela has furthered its reach in the government market yet again and revealed a slice of its strategy: On May 18, Accela announced the acquisition of PublicStuff, a New York-based firm that serves civic engagement apps and websites to more than 150 American cities.

The acquisition strengthens Accela as a leading provider of service request and citizen relationship management (CRM), and shows maturation of the government technology market itself. It also demonstrates a clear trend toward experience and closer integration with the public sector, and the acquisition marks the ninth in the past year, with Accela swallowing up GeoTMS, IQM2, Envista, Kinsail, Government Outreach, Decade Software, Springbrook Software, and SoftRight.

“PublicStuff is an amazing company that has built some great bridges between citizens and government agencies,” said CEO Maury Blackman. “One of the core missions that we have here at Accela is to get citizens engaged with their governments, and we think with the capabilities of PublicStuff, the mobile application they’ve built, the ability to really bring city hall to citizens’ front doors in conjunction with the back office capabilities that we have, it’s a very nice marriage.”

Many of Accela’s customers already used PublicStuff and had integrated the product with Accela’s platform, Blackman said, making the acquisition a natural fit. Accela customers who don’t use PublicStuff will now gain access to a two-way workflow engine that enhances the company’s growing suite of applications.

“At the end of the day, who really wins is our customers, because our customers now have a product that they can use inside their portfolio of the Accela platform that’s already been battletested,” Blackman said. “We’re not bringing something brand-new to market. We’re bringing something to them that is well-tested that they can bring in and start using today.”

In April, Accela announced a new finance and administration suite for government, and in October 2014, the company extended its CRM platform to include a configurable mobile app, website and knowledge base, as well as an agency employee portal.

The company’s expansion is expected to continue, along with state and local government agency IT purchasing, which Accela predicts to top $25.5 billion in 2015.

Accela now has more than 2,000 government customers, a figure the company says brings their services to cover 60 percent of the U.S. population.

Colin wrote for Government Technology and Emergency Management from 2010 through most of 2016.