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).