Sep 2016

Spectrum Equity Announces Sale of Finalsite

Spectrum Equity is pleased to announce the sale of Finalsite to Bridge Growth Partners. During Spectrum's ownership, Finalsite grew its customer base by over 100%, scaled revenue and EBITDA at CAGRs of 26% and 24% respectively, and solidified the company's position as the premier provider of web-based communications platforms and premium design services to global independent schools. We are delighted to have partnered with founder & CEO Jon Moser and the rest of senior management, and we wish them well in the next phase of the company’s growth.

Spectrum’s investment in Finalsite refined our perspective on the educational technology landscape and laid the groundwork for subsequent investments in ExamSoft , lynda.com (acquired by LinkedIn), and Teachers Pay Teachers. We believe we have assembled a distinctive portfolio in this category and look forward to partnering with other quality companies in this segment.

Below is the official press release for the transaction.


Bridge Growth Partners Invests in Finalsite

Acquisition of Leading Saas-Based Learning and Communications Platform Underscores Growth Opportunities in Education Technology

Bridge Growth Partners, LLC, a leading growth-oriented private equity firm, today announced it has made an equity investment to acquire Finalsite, a leading Saas-based learning and communications platform for K-12 independent and public schools and higher education institutions in the U.S. and internationally.

“We are delighted that Bridge Growth Partners is partnering with us as we continue to expand Finalsite’s software and service offerings to facilitate even more and better ways for parents, teachers, administrators and students to communicate, collaborate and enhance the entire education and school community experience,” said Jon Moser, founder and CEO of Finalsite. “The team at Bridge Growth has a proven record of working with management teams to grow software companies in a variety of industries, and we are confident that with their support we will further build on our leadership position in education technology. Finalsite’s commitment to our mission as a communications platform that delivers a rich fabric of education applications, backed by exemplary customer support and bringing lifelong value to the schools and families we serve, has never been stronger.”

“The education sector presents many opportunities to further leverage web-based platforms, social networking and customized, collaborative, mobile communication technologies to improve all facets and phases of the education experience for students, their families and the school communities that are dedicated to them,” said Alok Singh, co-founder and Managing Principal of Bridge Growth Partners. “Jon Moser and his dedicated team have built an incredible business that delivers value-enhancing solutions for some of the most respected and admired school institutions in the world. We look forward to working with the Finalsite team to support and accelerate the development of innovative new software products and services to meet the evolving range of needs and opportunities across the landscape of domestic and international education markets.”

Following the investment from Bridge Growth Partners, Jon Moser continues to lead the company as CEO and serve on its board of directors, and Patrick Bassett, former President of the National Association of Independent Schools, will continue his service on the board as a director. Will Ethridge, former CEO of Pearson North America, Yves de Balmann, former Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Deutsche Banc Alex Brown and former director of Laureate International Universities, and Jonathan Harber, former CEO and co-founder of SchoolNet, Inc. who also served as CEO of Pearson K-12 Technology after SchooolNet was acquired by Pearson, will join the board of directors. Alok Singh and Tom Manley of Bridge Growth will also join the board, with Singh serving as Chairman.

Finalsite, based in Glastonbury, Connecticut, today serves more than 1,500 schools and over 1,180 clients globally. This roster comprises more than 760 independent U.S. schools, more than 190 international independent schools, more than 140 U.S. public school districts and more than 80 higher education and other not-for-profit clients, including some of the most prestigious and influential schools in the world.

Finalisite combines premium design with an innovative content management system (CMS), admissions and enrollment solutions and a comprehensive learning management system (LMS) that make it simple for administrators and teachers to distribute, and for students and parents to access, digital content across school communities from desktops and mobile devices, as well as for schools to engage dynamically and seamlessly with a wide range of student information system (SIS) providers. Finalsite’s combination of web software, design, time-saving integrations and consulting services create a single, complete online communications platform for schools to engage with all of their stakeholders.

Bridge Growth’s principals have extensive experience across the technology sector, including through executive positions, directorships and investment experience in a number of leading global companies. Finalsite is Bridge Growth’s third investment, following its investments in Salient-CRGT, a leader in meeting the IT modernization and business intelligence needs of federal agencies and other government customers, and Solace Systems, a leading provider of infrastructure messaging technology based in Ottawa, Canada.

Terms of the transaction, which has been completed and in which Bridge Growth Partner, its co-investors, and Finalsite’s management team have acquired Finalsite from Spectrum Equity, were not disclosed.

About Finalsite

Finalsite's online learning and communications platform is utilized by over 1,500 schools and educational organizations across 70 countries and as many as 1 million unique users per day around the world. The platform manages all aspects of a school’s web presence and facilitates the distribution of digital content across school communities and in classrooms via a proprietary, SaaS-based software suite accessed through desktops and mobile devices. In addition, Finalsite's software enables customers to engage dynamically with a wide range of third party data providers including student information systems, learning systems and social media applications. Finalsite is based in Glastonbury, CT. For more information, please visit www.finalsite.com.

The specific companies identified above may not represent all of Spectrum’s investments, and no assumptions should be made that any investments identified were or will be profitable.