Abila Makes First Acquisition: Avectra
August 21, 2013 Paul Clolery
Abila Software, which was created in March when private equity firm Accel-KKR bought Sage Nonprofit Solutions, has purchased Avectra, a leading association management on-demand software firm. The deal makes Abila one of the largest tech providers in the nonprofit space with a combined 8,000 clients. The Austin, Texas-based firm will retain Avectra’s existing offices in McLean, Va., Chicago and Maitland, Fla. Rumors have swirled that the firm would grow quickly through acquisition. Abila CEO Krista Endlsey will also run Avectra. The rebranding will start with the firm being called Avectra, an Abila company. Abila will have 300 employees after the acquisition. A new management structure was not disclosed. “A lot will unfold in the next 30 days,” said Endsley. “There’s a lot of opportunity.” Terms of the deal were likewise not disclosed. Accel-KKR paid $101.2 million in March to purchase Sage Nonprofit Solutions and to fund the firm Swiftpage to acquire Sage ACT! and Sage SalesLogix. Sage Group also got an equity stake in Swiftpage, which is a long-time Sage partner. Avectra, a private company, had approximately $34 million in recognized revenue and slightly more than $40 million in actual revenue last year, sources told The NonProfit Times. The difference is Avectra’s largest source of revenue is software subscriptions. That money can’t be booked until it is realized. Abila declined to provide its revenue but insiders estimate it also at more than $40 million for combined revenue of approximately $85 million. “There’s not that far to go to get to $100 million,” said one insider. “And you know what happens at $100 million. You go public.” Avectra received a $26.5 million investment in October 2007 from Sterling Venture Partners, a Baltimore, Md., private equity firm that provides growth and expansion capital. It was Avectra’s first outside funding. HarbourVest Partners, headquartered in Boston, Mass., also participated in funding the firm. Sterling is the largest shareholder and is selling its stake, said Endsley, who declined to say how much was paid for the shares. Accel-KKR is a technology-focused private equity firm with more than $2.3 billion in assets under management. The firm invests primarily in software and IT-enabled businesses. Along with immediately being one of the top software providers in the association space, Avectra’s donor management and crowd sourcing solutions complement Abila’s accounting and financial software. A key product is netForum, which is a social constituent marketing solution, said Endsley. Avectra Social CRM is a comprehensive donor and fundraising software solution that manages various categories of constituent data, tracks and records implicit and explicit activities, and drives relevant, meaningful interaction and information to supporters, donors and other contacts. Development, donor and social media engagements are captured into one system for use in fundraising, marketing, and outreach campaigns to drive multi-channel constituent engagement strategies. Avectra CRM's donor tracking and fundraising software is built to be extended through Web services. It also has the IdeaStarter™ crowd-contributing online platform that enables organizations to leverage their brand and network to secure financial contributions. While Abila officials say there is a pool of 52,000 potential clients in the middle-market space, Avectra has also signed some large, enterprise level clients recently. Another piece is the fundraising software Bloomerang, which is licensed to Avectra by an Indianapolis, Ind., firm operated by Jay Love, a long-time nonprofit tech executive. Love is also a senior vice president of Avectra, heading up its nonprofit, non-association related business. Love declined to comment, deferring all questions Abila public relations.