VC-backed Bonfire to be acquired by U.S. SPAC for $140 mln

Bonfire Interactive Ltd, a Waterloo-based public sector sourcing technology provider, has agreed to be acquired by GTY Technology Holdings Inc (Nasdaq: GTYH) for about $140 million (US$108 million).

The deal, expected to close in Q1 2019, will see Bonfire merge with five other platforms, creating a listed North American software company focused on the government sector.

Bonfire and the other companies will continue to operate as distinct business units led by their existing management teams.

Bonfire was founded in 2012 CEO Corry Flatt and CTO Alex Millar. Last year, the company closed an $11 million Series A financing led by Battery Ventures and joined by Crosslink Capital and Spider Capital. Its other investors include FundersClub, Garage Capital and local angels.

GTY, a U.S. special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), raised US$552 million in its initial public offering in 2016.


Bonfire Announces Merger with 5 Best-in-Class “Govtech” SaaS Companies


WATERLOO, ONTARIO, September 12, 2018 – Bonfire Interactive Ltd. (“Bonfire”), a leader in public sector sourcing technology, today announced it signed a definitive agreement with GTY Technology Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: GTYHU/GTYH/GTYHW) (“GTY”) to be acquired for US$108 million in consideration and merge with five leading ‘Govtech’ SaaS/cloud platforms to form a new publicly traded company dedicated to the digital transformation of the public sector.

Founded in November 2016 by Bill Green (former Charmain & CEO, Accenture), Joe Tucci (former CEO & Chairman, EMC), and Harry You (former EVP, EMC; former CFO, Accenture & Oracle), GTY is a US$561- million Special Acquisition Vehicle (“SPAC”). Established to capture the next large-scale wave of digital transformation, GTY selected the once-in-a-generation transition of public sector workflows to the cloud.

This new company is built on the premise that public agencies can have a uniquely transformative impact on the world when they are empowered by the right technology. In support of this bold mission, GTY has assembled a modular cloud platform designed to help organizations transform the way they engage stakeholders and manage their resources.

By combining six companies that represent key elements of public sector workflows – budgeting, permitting, billing/payments, grants management, and procurement (Bonfire) – the united platform supports departments that are traditionally fragmented and struggling to deliver citizen engagement and manage back-end-office processes.

“We’re in the early stages of a monumental shift in how our governments and institutions harness the power of the cloud,” said Corry Flatt, CEO and Co-Founder of Bonfire. “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.”

Bonfire has become the new standard for eSourcing in public sector and beyond. Founded in 2012, Bonfire has grown its annual revenue more than 225% each year and today is comprised of a passionate team of more than 80 people. Client success has fueled much of this growth and is demonstrated by industry-leading client retention and satisfaction rates (including a Net Promoter Score over 70). Bonfire will leverage GTY resources to double its go-to-market and product development efforts. This includes rapidly expanding sales and marketing efforts in both public and commercial sectors, developing powerful next-generation sourcing technology with a focus on predictive insights and community collaboration, and accelerating hiring plans at its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario.

Bonfire, along with the other five companies, will continue to operate as distinct business units led by their existing management teams but armed with support from GTY’s considerable resources and seasoned executive team. With proven experience in delivering solutions to the public sector, the GTY executive team will be led by Stephen Rohleder (former COO, Accenture; former Group CEO Health & Public Service, Accenture) as Chairman and CEO, Harry You as CFO, and Dan Lauderback (former Group CTO Health & Public Service, Accenture) as COO.

“Bonfire exemplifies the best qualities of the growing Govtech movement” said Bill Green, Co-Chairman of GTY, “with an unwavering focus on client success, a passion for continuous innovation, and a mission that extends beyond their day-to-day efforts. We are thrilled to welcome the Bonfire team and further invest in their client growth and product development.”

Bonfire was founded by Corry Flatt and Alex Millar, and funded by Waterloo angel investors, Spider Capital, Garage Capital, FundersClub, Crosslink Ventures, and Battery Ventures.

The merger 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.

About Bonfire
Bonfire, a leader in strategic sourcing and procurement technology, empowers organizations to make the right purchasing decisions. With tools to support the entire vendor lifecycle (sourcing, contract management, and vendor performance), Bonfire goes beyond traditional mechanics to make complex decision making easy. Bonfire works the way you do on a single cloud platform designed to unite stakeholders, absorb compliance requirements, and facilitate advanced evaluation techniques. The combination of flexible technology with world- class customer service makes Bonfire the solution of choice for both public and private sector organizations of all sizes around the globe. Bonfire was named as a 2018 Gartner Cool Vendor and proudly reports a client retention rate greater than 96 percent. Learn more about Bonfire here.

About GTY
Founded in November 2016 by Bill Green (former Charmain & CEO, Accenture), Joe Tucci (former CEO & Chairman, EMC), and Harry You (former EVP, EMC; former CFO, Accenture & Oracle), GTY is a blank check company formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses.

Heather Hennessy