Pennsylvania-based Actua Corp., which is selling its St. Paul-based GovDelivery to a huge private equity group for $153 million, realized pretty good value from its seven-year ownership of the 15-year-old provider of Internet-based government communications software.

Actua, which owns several software-as-a-service businesses, paid $20 million for 94 percent of GovDelivery’s stock in 2009.

The rest is owned by founder and CEO Scott Burns and employees.

“Since our acquisition of the business in 2009 … GovDelivery has assembled a first-class management team and built out an industry-leading platform for digital government communications with a strong competitive moat,” Actua CEO Walter Buckley said last month. “Through the execution of a highly effective growth strategy, GovDelivery has increased revenues by nearly 600 percent.”

Upon completion of the transaction this fall, Actua expects to realize net cash proceeds of about $132 million.

Actua said GovDelivery is used by more public sector organizations for digital communications with constituents than all other competitors combined. The company has 1,800-plus federal, state and local customers that connect with 120 million citizens.

GovDelivery, with 225 employees and approaching $40 million in revenue, invested more than $10.2 million, a huge chunk of sales, last year in product development, security and operations to feed fast growth, according to an SEC filing. That number likely will rise under the new owner.

Buyer Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm with offices in Austin, Texas, Chicago and San Francisco, has about $26 billion invested in software, data and technology-based organizations around the globe.

“What sets GovDelivery apart is its success helping governments reach more people through its platform,” Patrick Severson, a principal at Vista Equity Partners, said last month. “We … were impressed by the extraordinary value and unrivaled security that GovDelivery brings to its clients in this fast-growing area.”

MAP, Nonprofits Assistance Fund to merge

The board of directors of MAP for Nonprofits, the 36-year-old nonprofit strategic adviser that assists other nonprofits, has voted to merge into Nonprofits Assistance Fund (NAF) at the end of the year to coincide with the retirement of longtime MAP CEO Judy Alnes.

In a recent website statement, Alnes said MAP’s funders and other stakeholders support the merger and “MAP and NAF programs are complementary and all the more impressive when lined up together.”

CEO Kate Barr of Nonprofits Assistance Fund, a former community bank executive who took over in 2000, said the merged, 28-person organization will work well because NAF focuses on financial vitality and runs what has grown to be a $22 million loan fund for nonprofits that gets top grades, and occasional capital infusions, from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution.

NAF also is supported by area banks, businesses, foundations and individuals who contribute to operations and the revolving loan fund.

“MAP does training, accounting and consulting for nonprofit, board training, so there’s little overlap,” Barr said. “They advise nonprofits how to be strategically smart and their board took their own advice through this [pending] merger.”

The organizations, which are social enterprises that also charge fees, are walking the talk because both have advised other nonprofits to merge under the right circumstances, shed lesser initiatives, or go out of business.

The two each have annual budgets of around $2 million.

MOA’s Renslow to chair state chamber board

Jill Renslow, senior vice president of business development at the Mall of America in Bloomington will chair the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce board of directors in the 2016-17 term.

Other Minnesota chamber officers of the board include Mike Milstead of Ag Power Enterprises of Owatonna; Stephanie Laitala-Rupp of Commonwealth Properties, St. Paul; and Rick Trontvet, Digi-Key Electronics, Thief River Falls.

New officers and board members will formally begin their terms at the Minnesota chamber’s annual business conference on Oct. 11 at the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront.

“We pledge to work with policymakers to identify those statewide actions that create economic opportunity and growth,” Renslow said in a statement.

The Minnesota chamber is the state’s largest business advocacy organization, representing approximately 2,300 businesses of all sizes and more than a half-million employees. The volunteer board sets public policy priorities, carries the message to state legislators and shapes the chamber’s one-on-one business assistance programs designed to grow small shops into larger ones.

Staff report