“Membership Management” and Back-Office Software Provider for Golf, Other Private Clubs Now Set to Accelerate Growth With Strategic Acquisitions
(Cincinnati, OH) – Battery Ventures, a global investment firm, has made a significant growth-equity investment in Clubessential LLC, a fast-growing provider of Web-based software for golf, city, yacht and other private clubs. Clubessential intends to use the new capital to accelerate growth by investing in product innovation, sales and marketing, and acquisitions. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Clubessential, which is based in Cincinnati, sells front- and back-end “software-as-a-service” (SaaS) applications to private clubs to help them manage various aspects of their operations. The company’s main product is a suite of modules designed to automate various club operations; inform and engage members; and leverage operational and customer data.
The product—called the “Clubessential Unified Suite”—is a turnkey solution that allows club members to log into club websites, check their accounts, make reservations or update their profiles. The back-end suite includes a full accounting system to support club operations, including retail and food-and-beverage, point-of-sale solutions. The company also offers customer-relationship management, mobile-app and online-payment products. Overall, the technology allows clubs to deliver higher levels of service to members, partly by leveraging cutting-edge analytics.
Clubessential was founded in 1998 and has about 175 employees in Cincinnati as well as Austin, TX; Raleigh, NC; Kansas City; and Boston.
Battery has invested in many industry-specific, Web-software companies like Clubessential, a category of companies which generally offer customers highly specialized products as well as high-quality support and services, said Morad Elhafed, a Battery Ventures partner who will join Clubessential’s board.
“Clubessential’s growth rate is impressive, and the company has built an extremely strong business providing software to the private-club market,” Elhafed added. “The sector is large but fragmented, and we believe Clubessential can serve as a solid platform for consolidation and growth in the industry. We are thrilled to be the first institutional investor in the company.”
“Several years ago, we realized we would need external equity financing to support our growing operations, launch new products and enter new markets,” said Dr. William Ivers, Clubessential’s CEO. “We had been speaking with Battery since 2013 - they were our favorite partner choice because of their history in SaaS investing, their knowledge of our target markets and their skill in accelerating growth and acquisitions. In 2015 our growth jumped with the introduction of the Unified Suite and our entry into the resort market – we knew it was time to add a strong financial partner.”