The rush to buy, invest in or consolidate constituent relationship management (CRM) platforms continues since the calendar turned to 2022. Aplos software is being acquired by ASG, a portfolio company under the umbrella of Alpine Investors in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is the 44th acquisition for ASG and its first in the nonprofit software industry.
Just since January 1, Blackbaud announced it would spend $750 million in cash and stock to purchase EVERFI, a corporate social impact platform. The next day it was announced that Network for Good had been purchased by the umbrella corporation that a few months earlier had married EveryAction, Social Solutions and CyberGrants. Then came the acquisition of platform Classy by GoFundMe in an all equity deal.
Most of the deals were backed by venture funding or investment capital.
Aplos was launched in Fresno, Calif., in 2009 by Tim Goetz, who will stay on as a strategic advisor working with the new owners on product roadmaps and customer relationships. Anush Vinod from ASG is the new chief executive officer. Vinod most recently was at high-growth e-commerce business backed by Alpine Investors, and was an executive in residence at Alpine Software Group. Previously, Vinod worked in private equity and investment banking, working to raise, provide and invest capital into innovative consumer and software companies.
Aplos was started, Goetz has said, when he couldn’t find a simple, affordable fund accounting software for his church, where he served as executive pastor. It was developed as a web-based fund accounting software and has grown to include church management, donor management, event registration, websites, and fundraising.
According to information provided by ASG, Aplos has more than 10,000 clients with a combined 5 million donors and supporters. The majority of Aplos’ users are small to medium faith-based organizations, along with K-12 schools, arts and cultural associations. It is a suite of SaaS (software as a service) and FinTech tools, including fund accounting, financial reporting, donation tracking and fundraising tools, and people management.
Vinod said ASG was “looking to build a new vertical in nonprofit tech. After a long time searching we found Aplos.” It wasn’t the CRM system that attracted ASG but the fund accounting elements of the product, he said. Often the decision maker is a bookkeeper or financial volunteer so the tool must be easy to use, Vinod explained.
“Payment processing is a very big and interesting business for us,” said Vinod. He said the processing is not just of donations or tithing but also facilitation of payments by the user.
Most tech investors stay with a product five to seven years but often get out sooner, said Vinod. The plan for Aplos is organic and inorganic growth with a plan to “hold and build over the long-term,” longer than seven years. “The core focus is on growth and innovation through products” developed by Aplos, he said.
“Our goal from day one has always been to meet the software needs of the full nonprofit sector, but to get there we needed to find the right financial partner. I am excited to have found a partner in ASG that believes in the value of serving nonprofits as strongly as I do,” Goetz said via a statement. “This new partnership equips Aplos to ramp up our team, fuel our product development, and invest in the future of this incredible community.”