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Private Equity Strategies

Movers & Shakers Update: Bregal Sagemount Gets Into Emerging Civic Startup Niche

Monday, October 21, 2013

By: Bailey McCann, Private Equity Strategies

The Accela Civic Platform provides governments ways to better interact with local citizens. The platform provides cloud and mobile technologies that facilitate productivity for government workers and allow citizens to engage with their agencies 24/7. Agencies can deploy complete capabilities to streamline and manage core processes and to improve community services related to land management, licensing, asset management, and public health and safety.

Accela’s solutions support a portfolio of over 500 customers from enterprise agencies in jurisdictions such as New York City; San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Melbourne, Australia; and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to smaller jurisdictions including Nogales, Arizona; Roseville, California; and Westminster, Colorado. Last week, the company launched a new open-data repository that will be free to governments and civic developers that need a place to store their data. The API for those data will be available to developers who wish to create civic software applications.

The repository, CivicData.com was announced during the Code for America Summit in San Francisco, California. “The platform is absolutely free, regardless of how much you store. For our customers we have automation in place with our other Accela solutions, but you don’t have to be a customer to put data on the platform. I lead a Code for America Brigade for example, and its all volunteer, so this gives us a place to put our data for free,” Kris Trujillo, one of the platform programmers at Accela.

The platform will provide developers with multi-jurisdictional data for software creation, which could solve a repeatability problem common to civic software development. Historically, local governments and agencies have created custom solutions in-house baed on their unique needs, and often outdated computer systems. (Sometimes mainframes!) This level of customization prevents ready adoption by other governments or agencies with similar problems.

Code for America is a non-profit that pairs developers with communities to work on civic engagement issues, but a steady stream of for-profit developers are also working with governments. Civic startups are springing up all over the country with the help of accelerators like the Points of Light Civic Accelerator, which recently invested in 15 for-profit and non-profit civic startups. In some cases cities are getting in on the act seeding small companies or holding app contests, all going to support this rapidly growing ecosystem.

“With this additional capital, we believe the company can grow even faster and be the natural choice for all government agencies,” said Daniel Kim, partner, Bregal Sagemount. Daniel Kim and Blair Greenberg of Bregal Sagemount will sit on Accela’s board of directors. A portion of the $40 million was also provided by existing Accela investors.

This article was published in Opalesque's Private Equity Strategies our monthly research update on the global private equity landscape including all sectors and market caps.
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