Coming out of 2020’s market uncertainty and global economic and social challenges, 2021 continued as a year of extraordinary challenges. Despite the continued ebb and flow of our daily lives, I’m happy to share that ASG performed really well and our software companies continued to be mission-critical during this period of uncertainty.
Being a part of the ASG portfolio for the last 5 years through Bill4Time, Traject, and now leading ASG, I’ve had the unique opportunity to see ASG’s contribution in transforming the SaaS landscape. This year was no different in our commitment to our mission of finding, buying and growing our mission-critical SaaS businesses.
Taking a look back, I’m fortunate to share some of the exciting milestones from 2021 to prepare for a brighter 2022 and beyond.
Looking back on 2021
They say variety is the spice of life, and we couldn’t agree more. Over this last year, we acquired 11 SaaS businesses across 6 industries in Human Services, Hotel Technology, Marketing Technology, Logistics, Property Technology and Healthcare. As the pandemic emphasized the world’s reliance on innovative solutions, we doubled down on our mission to acquire and enable our companies to scale and meet the increased demand.
Each of our 11 acquisitions brought their own momentum to ASG. A few exciting spaces we expanded this year include:
- Hotel operations platform ALICE joined ASG from Expedia in our expanding Hotel Technology vertical, bringing an incredible product that has proven to be essential to hotel properties, and essential to travelers during COVID.
- Our Traject marketing platform welcomed Sendible & Loomly, further expanding its social media software offerings at a time when virtual communication between brands and consumers is crucial to growing a successful business.
In a year where Logistics software became even more mission-critical, we welcomed Trucker Tools to the ASG portfolio which brought the leading tracking and digital freight matching platform for brokered freight into our Logistics vertical.
Working with our Founders
At ASG, we have a rare opportunity to work closely with founders and this year was no different. Whether it’s building upon their legacy or helping them design their dream exit, we welcomed 17 founders to ASG this year.
When we think about Founder flexibility, Gavin Hammar, Founder of Sendible, comes to mind. Not because we share a home country in South Africa, but because after Sendible joined Traject – a suite of marketing tools and social media solutions – Gavin stayed on for a 6 month transition to ramp up Sendible’s new CEO, Katelyn Sorensen, before moving onto his next venture. On the Sendible podcast, Gavin shared the story of how he decided to hand over the keys to Sendible, and he sat down with Katelyn again to talk in more detail of transitioning leadership of the business.
On the flip side, Scott DeFusco, Co-founder of Capturelife, was excited to join a bigger platform in ImageQuix, and stayed on to work with the team driving the strategy and development of the Capturelife platform. Since joining ImageQuix, Scott and the team have penetrated the Resorts, Professional Sports, and Attractions / Events segments, which has been truly incredible coming out of COVID. Take a look at Scott’s perspective of why he was excited to join ASG and become a part of something BIG.
Announcing Radicle Health
When we think about industries that were upended these last few years, Human Services software tops the list. Electronic Health Record software is the definition of “mission-critical” when delivering care in a remote world. COVID-19 accelerated this massive shift to telehealth by 10 years, showing how technology in this space is crucial to driving real change.
And while this isn’t a new space for us, 2021 brought the launch of a new platform in Radicle Health – a group of companies committed to providing human services organizations with the technology they deserve.
Radicle Health’s story starts in 2017 when we saw an increased need for collaboration and investment in software used by human services agencies. This led to our first acquisition – Exym. Since then, we’ve added four more companies – Foothold, KCare, extendedReach, and Link2Feed. We started with a team of 15 with one product serving about 100 agencies in California. Today, we’re a team of nearly 150 across 4 companies and 6 products, serving more than 10,000 agencies nationwide, and led by CEO Tyler Hoffman.
Our companies at work
This year, ASG’s portfolio companies acted quickly to build new solutions, hire additional talent and partner with other exciting companies to meet the increased demand from COVID-19.
In the food bank industry, Link2Feed – our company that enables food banks and nonprofits to focus on their mission by providing real-time reporting tools – has made some exciting updates and partnerships to meet the continued demand stemming from last year. They recently launched Link2Feed Volunteer Management to improve the volunteer experience for staff and volunteers, and also partnered with DoorDash to meet the increased demand for deliveries and alleviate short-staffed nonprofits who are at the frontlines of solving the issue of hunger and food insecurity.
Meanwhile in the mortgage industry, 2020 stay-at-home orders, a ban on in-person home showings and all-time low interest rates created looming economic uncertainty around people’s largest asset: their homes. While the housing market came to halt last year, it quickly rebounded as median home prices increased by over 14%. In our Property Technology vertical, Homebot – a company that provides personalized, actionable insights that empower consumers to build wealth through homeownership – tripled its enterprise customer count and looks to close the year with over 8 million U.S. homeowners. Co-founder Ernie Graham, CRO Charlie Pratt and the entire Homebot team continued building momentum by nearly doubling their team to over 110 employees, launching new product updates and acquiring buyer experience platform, NestReady, so that loan officers can remain successful in a remote culture where it became even more imperative to stay connected, and manage past clients and new leads.
For most of ASG’s history, we’ve been the ones receiving the baton from Founders when they decide to sell their company. For the first time this year, we were the ones handing over the baton to someone else when Paradigm, our Legal Technology platform, joined Francisco Partners.
When we first started ASG, we had this idea of “Better, Together”.
That is, we could acquire industry leading SaaS businesses in key verticals, bring them together under one roof of shared resources, leadership and community, and create one platform that can grow together more than they ever could alone. The story of Paradigm is an exciting realization of that dream.
Paradigm started in 2017 when we acquired our first legal technology business. Under the leadership of CEO Soumya Nettimi and CFO/CRO Colin Li, Paradigm has become one of the most well-known and trusted practice management software and native payments providers to an industry that is demanding easy-to-use and cloud-based solutions. During their time at ASG, Paradigm grew to four industry leading products – Bill4Time, PracticePanther, MerusCase, and Headnote – and scaled to over 100 employees who serve over 11,000 law firms.
While it is bittersweet to see Paradigm move on, we are humbled to have been a stop in their journey of growth. David Bitton, co-founder of Practice Panther put it well in our blog post Selling Paradigm From the Founders’ Perspective, “[Selling your company] is like watching your child grow up in the real world.”
We pride ourselves on being a place where founders of leading SaaS businesses can find a home for their company, their teams, and their mission. This year was another exciting step in the journey.
As we look to expand our verticals and our strategies in 2022, we remain committed to positioning our companies for success and enabling them to achieve new milestones to better serve their customers.
To our current founders, leaders and friends – thank you for trusting and partnering with us, and defining what makes ASG special.
To our future founders and coworkers, we’re excited to meet you and bring you into the ASG family so you can witness it firsthand.