Bonfire Interactive, a Waterloo Region startup whose software streamlines procurement for public and private institutions, will be acquired for US$108 million in an agreement announced today.
Based in Kitchener’s Lang Tannery complex, Bonfire will become part of U.S.-based GTY Technology Holdings and, under the GTY umbrella, merge with five other government-focused software-as-a-service companies “to form a new publicly traded company dedicated to the digital transformation of the public sector,” according to a news release.
“We’re in the early stages of a monumental shift in how our governments and institutions harness the power of the cloud,” Corry Flatt, CEO and co-founder of Bonfire, said in the release. “If done right, the results extend beyond cost savings and efficiencies – the results are better schools, better healthcare, better roads, better communities – better lives.
“Joining forces with these five companies under GTY is a major win for our clients and our staff. It puts Bonfire on an even more exciting trajectory towards our ultimate goal of powering trillions of dollars in spending decisions every year.”
Along with the other five companies, Bonfire will continue as a distinct business unit led by its existing management team, with support from GTY, which is described as a US$561 million “special acquisition vehicle” and is led by former top executives from Accenture and other global giants. Bonfire will also continue to grow its Waterloo Region operation, which currently employs about 80 people, as it ramps up sales, marketing and development of next-generation software.
“Bonfire exemplifies the best qualities of the growing gov-tech movement, with an unwavering focus on client success, a passion for continuous innovation, and a mission that extends beyond their day-to-day efforts,” said Bill Green, Co-Chairman of GTY. “We are thrilled to welcome the Bonfire team and further invest in their client growth and product development.”
Bonfire was co-founded in 2012 by Flatt, who studied strategic marketing at Wilfrid Laurier University, and Alex Millar, a University of Waterloo computer science grad. Both previously worked for various tech companies. Flatt shared his story in June at Pizza with the Prez, a Communitech speaking series.
The company was named among the top 10 startups to graduate Y Combinator’s Winter 2015 cohort, and raised early funding from several Waterloo Region angel investors, followed by larger rounds from American venture funds.
According to today’s news release, the agreement “is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019. Through this process, Bonfire will maintain current operations and will continue to further progress on existing plans.”
Communitech is a partner of Startup HERE Toronto. This article originally appeared on their site.