Community Brands Expands Market Share

Community Brands, a technology and service group specializing in nonprofits, associations and government entities, has acquired Spokane, Wash.-based Configio in what a company official described as a reach into a previously untapped market.

Configio, formerly known as My Custom Event, specializes in cloud-based management solutions for event and activity-based organizations. The acquisition was completed more than a week ago, according to JP Guilbault, president of Community Brands. Financial details of the acquisition will not be publicly disclosed.

Community Brands, based in St. Petersburg, Fla., launched by joining software companies Abila, Aptify, and YourMembership. NimbleUser, an association management solution, was added later that month. Guilbault, who formerly led YourMembership, anticipates Community Brands remaining aggressive on the acquisition front.

The coupling was funded by Insight Venture Partners, a venture capital and private equity firm that invests in high-growth software and Internet-enabled companies. Venture firm Accel-KKR sold a majority stake in Abila to Insight, which it bought from Sage Software in 2013. Sage Nonprofit Solutions (NPS) was rebranded as Abila after a $101.2-million deal. The nonprofit element was the largest segment of three in the deal.

A spokesman at the time explained that YourMembership, Abila and Aptify will operate under the name Community Brands, which is established within another holding company. That holding company includes Ministry Brands and Education Brands. “So, actually, Community Brands stands side by side with Ministry Brands and Education Brands, but is in no way targeting their markets,” the spokesman said.

Guilbault said that the primary driver of the Configio acquisition was extending into a customer base that Community Brands did not previously serve – including clients such as Challenger Sports, Kampgrounds of America, and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Configio currently has 300 customers and growing, according to Guilbault. The platform attracts 20 million page views and manages $200 million in ecommerce annually. There is no redundancy between the organizations currently served by Configio and those already using Community Brands products.

“With that expansion and that market, there are growth opportunities overall for Community Brands,” Guilbault said.

Configio’s technology, which features 2,100 modular-based configurations, uniquely solves user interface syntax and Community Brands leadership believes that the same technology can be applied to assist other types of membership organizations. Guilbault described the acquisition as being an investment and said that Configio’s 20 employees will stay on and continue working in Spokane. Bob Bailey, founder of Configio, will serve as vice president of the vertical.

“The way I would position it, we are going to continue to be acquisitive in nature,” he said. “Where products or technology fill a void we see in the market, we want to continue to add.”