Clubessential gets cash infusion from equity investor

Clubessential, a private club software company, has a new financial backer that it hopes will allow it to grow five times larger than its current size. Battery Ventures, a global investment firm, has made what the company calls a significant growth-equity investment in the Cincinnati-based company. 

While Clubessential did not disclose terms of the deal, it said it will use the additional capital to accelerate growth by investing in product innovation, sales and marketing, and acquisitions.

“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.”

Clubessential provides Web-based software for golf, city, yacht and other private clubs. It's main product is a suite of modules that allows club members to log into club websites, check their accounts, make reservations or update their profiles. A 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. 

Clubessential was founded in 1998. In February 2015, it acquired ClubSoft and since then has tripled its revenue. Staff has grown from 72 to 175 during the same period. 

Battery Ventures, which manages more than $6 billion in capital, 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 said. “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.”

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