Public procurement tech firm Bonfire acquired by US company

Bonfire will merge with five other "Govtech" SaaS/cloud platforms

September 13, 2018
Purchasing B2B

WATERLOO—Public sector sourcing technology firm Bonfire Interactive Ltd. has been acquired by GTY Technology Holdings Inc. for US$108 million. Bonfire will merge with five other “Govtech” SaaS/cloud platforms to form a new publicly traded company dedicated to the digital transformation of the public sector.

Founded in November 2016, GTY is a US$561-million special acquisition vehicle, or “SPAC.”

GTY says it 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—the united platform supports departments that are traditionally fragmented and struggling to deliver citizen engagement and manage back-end-office processes.

Bonfire CEO and co-founder Cory Flatt stressed that the news differed from a typical acquisition in that GTY represents a group of “world-class business leaders” looking to assemble a group of companies and help them succeed in their current path. “Legally, what’s happening is an acquisition and a merger, but it’s more like they’ve assembled a team of stallions and they’re letting them all run,” he said. “For us, our employees and clients, it’s just a really good news story.”

Bonfire plans to grow as a company and continue to develop and innovate its products while expanding them into different areas of sourcing and procurement, Flatt said. At the same time, the products will gain depth in areas like predictive analytics and others.

“This isn’t an exit, it’s an onramp,” he said. “This is a shortcut to really powerful future for us and our clients.”

Founded in 2012, Bonfire has grown its annual revenue more than 225 per cent each year and today is comprised of over 80 people. 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 operate as distinct business units led by their existing management teams but supported by GTY’s resources and executive team.

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