Abila In ‘Peach’ Of A Deal

February 18, 2015       Paul Clolery      

Content and learning platform Peach New Media, a player in the association and large organization educational space, has been purchased by Abila Software. The firm has operations in Atlanta and Hanover, Mass., and will be rebranded as Peach New Media, an Abila company.

The firm’s cornerstone product is the Freestone Learning Content Management System, used by organizations such as the Association of Fundraising Professionals and CalCPA. The platform allows live webinars, on-demand webinars, conference recordings and self-paced online courses.

The product has application for organizations with mandatory professional educational requirements as well as volunteer training.

Peach New Media was launched in 2001 by Dave Will, who carries the title “chief peach.” He will stay at the firm with that title but in effect will be general manager of the division. The firm will be run as a stand-alone operation through the fiscal year.

Formerly known as Boston Conferencing, the firm began working with Atlanta-based Impact Media Solutions and the firms merged in 2009. Peach New Media has 40 employees and revenue of approximately $4 million.

The acquisition puts Abila at slightly more than $70 million in revenue with roughly 8,000 clients. Abila and Peach New Media have only a dozen clients in common, one of which is the 40,000-member CalCPA, the association for certified public accountants in California.

Abila is a privately-held company and terms of the deal were not disclosed. Abila was born in March 2013 when private equity firm Accel-KKR paid $101.2 million 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, a long-time Sage partner.

This is Austin, Texas-based Abila’s second acquisition in the association space. In August 2013 it acquired Avectra, a leading association management on-demand software firm. The deal made Abila one of the largest tech providers in the nonprofit space with a combined 8,000 clients. Abila now has 325 employees.

Krista Endsley, CEO of Abila, explained that “by adding the Freestone learning platform and the exceptional Peach talent, Abila strengthens its strong portfolio of products and services that help enhance engagement, add value, increase revenue, and improve decision-making.”

Abila officials estimated at the time of the Avectra deal there is a pool of 52,000 potential clients in the middle-market space. Presumably those would also be targets for Peach New Media’s products and services.

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.

“We’re excited to be a part of the Abila family,” said Will. “Our mission and focus has always been on giving organizations the power to easily share knowledge, change society, and improve lives. Our core values are very much aligned with Abila’s core values, and we feel that together we are in a better position to help organizations take their member experience to new levels.”