OpenGov acquires ViewPoint Cloud, adding building codes and permitting to its platform – gpgmail

In the same week that it announced a $51 million round of funding, OpenGov — the startup that provides SaaS software designed to help governments and other civic organizations run their operations — is announcing an acquisition to expand the kinds of tools it provides to customers.

The company has acquired ViewPoint, a platform used by city governments — customers currently number 200 towns, cities, counties, and state agencies — to manage building codes and other similar databases, as well as interface with the public to apply for permits and licenses related to those rules and regulations.

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. To be clear, ViewPoint’s full name is ViewPoint Cloud and it’s not to be confused with another company called simply Viewpoint, which — slightly confusingly — also operates in the area of building and construction, but was acquired last year for about $1.2 billion.

OpenGov was started under the premise of building enterprise-grade solutions for the public sector that took into consideration some of the particularly bureaucratic aspects of public sector business, but at the same time provided solutions that worked as well (if not better for being more tailored) as those built for the private sector.

Most of OpenGov’s business has been built organically — that is, from within the company — but it has also made a few acquisitions over the years to augment that — others include “civic intelligence” platform Ontodia and Peak Democracy to add engagement tools — and this is also where ViewPoint fits in.

It will be adding a new area of services into the mix that customers can use to manage and provision applications and licenses for things like building codes, an often thorny area rife with paperwork and arcane technicalities that has long been a challenge both for governments and those building housing and other structures to navigate.

“I co-founded this company with the idea that governments deserve cutting-edge technology,” said ViewPoint CEO Nasser Hajo in a statement. “ViewPoint has since grown to become the cloud-based permitting and licensing market leader, stretching the boundaries of what’s possible to bring efficiency, transparency, and civic engagement to public agencies. OpenGov is the leading enterprise cloud software company in the GovTech sector, and we could not be more thrilled at the opportunity to join forces and continue building the technology that will power governments for decades to come.”

ViewPoint has been around since 1995 and established a fairly narrow remit. but it has also built a solid business from that place, claiming customer retention of 98%. For OpenGov — which has 2,000 customers to ViewPoint’s 200 — that means not just a more diversified product offering, but also another line of predictable and recurring revenue.

“Not only are OpenGov and ViewPoint among the fastest-growing GovTech companies, we are each the only multi-tenant cloud platforms of scale in our respective categories,” said OpenGov’s CEO and co-founder Zac Bookman in a statement. “I could not be more excited for our joint future and to bring this incredible software to every government that wants to take advantage of it.”

We’ve seen the rise of a number of smaller startups that have been leveraging the cloud to build software to make a wide variety of work-related tasks more efficient. Govtech — with its focus on cutting down paperwork, improving security and reducing spend — has been fertile ground for these startups to tackle, but longer term that will also mean more consolidation as bigger companies look to diversify and expand their platforms, and smaller startups find it harder to scale. That could spell more acquisitions for OpenGov, which is backed by some $140 million with investors including Weatherford Capital, 8VC (whose founder, Joe Lonsdale, is also a co-founder of OpenGov), Andreessen Horowitz, JC2 Ventures and Emerson Collective (the investment firm connected to Laurene Powell Jobs).

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OpenGov raises $51M to boost its cloud-based IT services for government and civic organizations – gpgmail

OpenGov, the firm co-founded by Panaltir’s Joe Lonsdale that helps government and other civic organizations organise, analyse and present financial and other data using cloud-based architecture, has raised another big round of funding to continue expanding its business. The startup has picked up an additional $51 million in a Series D round led by Weatherford Capital and 8VC (Lonsdale’s investment firm), with participation from existing investor Andreessen Horowitz.

The funding brings the total raised by the company to $140 million, with previous investors in the firm including JC2 Ventures, Emerson Collective, Founders Fund and a number of others. The company is not disclosing its valuation — although we are asking — but for some context, PitchBook noted it was around $190 million in its last disclosed round — although that was in 2017 and has likely increased in the interim, not least because of the startup’s links in high places, and its growth.

On the first of these, the company says that its board of directors includes, in addition to Lonsdale (who is now the chairman of the company); Katherine August-deWilde, Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of First Republic Bank; John Chambers, Founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures and Former Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems; Marc Andreessen, Co-Founder and General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz; and Zac Bookman, Co-Founder and CEO of OpenGov .

And in terms of its growth, OpenGov says today it counts more than 2,000 governments as customers, with recent additions to the list including the State of West Virginia, the State of Oklahoma, the Idaho State Controller’s Office, the City of Minneapolis MN, and Suffolk County NY. For comparison, when we wrote in 2017 about the boost the company had seen since Trump’s election (which has apparently seen a push for more transparency and security of data), the company noted 1,400 government customers.

Government data is generally associated with legacy systems and cripplingly slow bureaucratic processes, and that has spelled opportunity to some startups, who are leveraging the growth of cloud services to present solutions tailored to the needs of civic organizations and the people who work in them, from city planners to finance specialists. In the case of OpenGov, it packages its services in a platform it calls the OpenGov Cloud.

“OpenGov’s mission to power more effective and accountable government is driving innovation and transformation for the public sector at high speed,” said OpenGov CEO Zac Bookman in a statement. “This new investment validates OpenGov’s position as the leader in enterprise cloud solutions for government, and it fuels our ability to build, sell, and deploy new mission-critical technology that is the safe and trusted choice for government executives.”

It’s also, it seems, a trusted choice for government executives who have left public service and moved into investing, leveraging some of the links they still have into those who manage procurement for public services. Weatherford Capital, one of the lead investors, is led in part by managing partner Will Weatherford, who is the former Speaker of the House for the State of Florida.

“OpenGov’s innovative technology, accomplished personnel, market leadership, and mission-first approach precisely address the growing challenges inherent in public administration,” he said in a statement. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with OpenGov to accelerate its growth and continue modernizing how this important sector operates.”

It will be interesting to see how and if the company uses the funding to consolidate in its particular area of enterprise technology. There are other firms like LiveStories that have also been building services to help better present civic data to the public that you could see as complementary to what OpenGov is doing. OpenGov has made acquisitions in the past, such as Ontodia to bring more open-source data and technology into its platform.

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