GovDelivery CEO Scott Burns on the Merger With Granicus

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Scott Burns, cofounder & CEO, GovDelivery

One month after GovDelivery was acquired by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, they turn around and merge with Colorado counterpart Granicus.  Let’s hear more:

Franklin Partners

Was this part of the plan all along, as in, did you know this was going to happen when Vista bought GovDelivery?

We were aware of Vista Equity Partner’s plan with the business, and we were thrilled about the plan.

Because our former owner was publicly traded, we had to go public with the acquisition information a little early and were not yet ready to announce the plans with Granicus. I’ve been hoping that GovDelivery and Granicus would join forces for a long time. I actually tried to buy Granicus back in 2012, but we couldn’t get it done and they were sold to another party.

For years, we watched and admired as Granicus grew to its current position of helping 1,200 organizations streamline and improve the legislative process while engaging more citizens. We have known that together, we could help government engage more people, make better decisions, and achieve better outcomes. So when conversations started with Vista Equity Partners on the acquisition and they conveyed their intention to merge the two companies, we were excited to try and help make it happen. It was like two high school sweethearts finally getting together later in life – it’s a perfect fit. These are truly the top two cloud-solution companies serving government coming together.

Where is the opportunity for operational efficiencies and/or structural optimization between the respective orgs?

Vista Equity Partners acquired these two companies as a growth investment, which means that the merger is much more about increasing our scale and ability to help more governments with a broader set of solutions vs. finding structural optimizations. We believe we can bring more to market, spur growth, and grow profits through this combination. We are looking for opportunities as we merge to increase efficiency, but with the pace of growth, there are a lot of opportunities for everyone on our team.

Will there be a change in employee base, hiring plans, or layoffs in terms of department consolidation/headcount for GovDelivery?

The existing teams in St. Paul, D.C., Denver and Crawley (UK) will not see any big changes in their employee base in the immediate future, but we do expect to add team members as we grow. In fact, we have openings right not for engineering, digital services, and more – we encourage folks to apply on our website.

What is your role/title with the combined TBD entity?

The GovDelivery and Granicus leadership teams will remain in place for now and will be critical to ensuring a smooth transition. We expect to finalize the leadership team in Q1 of 2017 so we’ll let you know then.

Are further acquisitions in the space expected for 2017?

While there are no definite plans for acquisitions in 2017, Vista Equity Partner’s strategy is to lead with organic and acquisition growth. Both companies have histories of strategic acquisitions to enhance the customer experience – with GovDelivery acquiring NuCivic and Textizen, and Granicus acquiring Civica and Daystar – and we expect that to continue if it makes sense for our clients.

Where will the HQ be considered for TBD new combined entity?

We will continue to hire and grow in our four main locations of the combined entity: Denver, St. Paul, D.C., and Crawley (U.K.).

Where will corporate taxes be paid? Will this change Minnesota’s share as far as you can tell?

Vista Equity Partners plans to invest in the growth opportunity in this market, and is committed to growing the St. Paul office and employee base. I’ll leave the taxes to the accountants but I wouldn’t expect any change.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

GovDelivery’s news of a new investor and merger with Granicus means great things for the market of civic and government technology that we helped create and also for the big picture of how government connects with citizens. For nearly two decades, we’ve had a vision for transforming the government-citizen experience and these strategic changes will mean we’ll be able to accomplish this at a much larger scale and also get more engaged in the legislative / law making process. I’m proud of the role our team plays in driving this market to new heights and doing it in a way that is good for our team, investors, the government, and the public. It’s great to do this all from St. Paul which is a city I love and have found to be a great place to build a company.

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