Community Brands, a growing supplier of cloud-based event technology with a focus on associations, nonprofits and educational institutions, is acquiring Pathable, a virtual-event platform provider that has long served the industry with mobile apps and online community sites. Financial terms of the deal haven't been disclosed.
The two companies partnered in the summer of 2018 to integrate Pathable's mobile-app technology with Community Brands' event management suite — creating a broader events solution that built on Community Brands' June 2018 acquisition of Expo Logic.
Two years later, thanks to Pathable's quick and savvy maneuver to digital-event tech provider, Community Brands saw the opportunity to rekindle the relationship and take it to the next level.
Pathable had a leg up on some of its events-app competitors as the coronavirus began to wreak havoc on the industry in February: A web-based, desktop-friendly interface and platform had always been part of its offerings. The company first debuted more than a dozen years ago as a provider of online community sites — a sort of Facebook for specific events, designed to connect participants before, during and after the meeting itself. The accompanying mobile app grew out of that broader solution.
"What that gave us was this complete platform," said Pathable president Jordan Schwartz, "and all that was missing was the streaming pieces — whereas our mobile-app competitors had to build that platform from scratch. So we were able to be one of the first off the blocks, and we just worked like crazy for about a month before we began advertising ourselves as a virtual platform."
The need for such digital platforms intensified and Pathable subsequently experienced explosive growth. "We went from 20 people to 120 now, inside of that six months, just to keep up with demand," Schwartz said.
The role that technology can play in ameliorating the devastation currently experienced by the events industry provides hope, he adds. And the acquisition expands the scope of the opportunities.
"A larger company has infrastructure and resources and experience and relationships that we can leverage to create something bigger," he said. "It's just an amazing time to be in the position that we're in. It's like the asteroid just hit and we're the mammals. We can invent the future."
Schwartz will continue to helm Pathable following the acquisition. "My plan is to stick around as long as I'm having fun," he said. "And I think there's a lot of fun to be had."