A growing Columbia tech company is closing out 2021 with another big leap.
Columbia-based home services software company Leap received a majority growth investment from Nexa Equity, a San Francisco-based private equity firm focused on SaaS and fintech companies, the companies said last week.
Founded in 2016, Leap has bootstrapped its way to growth with a platform that provides sales enablement tools for home contractors. When it appeared on the Inc. 5000 in 2021, the company reported 756% growth over three years. Seeking to digitize the process of in-home sales for contractors completing work such as remodeling and home improvement, the company’s platform puts estimating, financing, contracting and communication tools in one place. Now, the 70-person company is looking to continue on the trajectory it set out for the next several years, adding both people to the team and customers as it builds in areas including sales and marketing and product.
This is the company’s first round of outside investment, and will support an ongoing stage of further expansion, CEO Patrick Fingles told Technical.ly.
“The plan is not changing,” Fingles said. “What’s changing is we have the ability to execute the aggressive growth plan that we had in play.”
As a result of the investment, for which financial terms were not disclosed, Nexa Equity now has a majority ownership stake in the company. Leap’s founders and management team will continue to be “meaningful shareholders,” per a statement.
With Nexa, Leap is gaining growth capital, as well as expertise in the area of mergers and acquisitions if the company opts to bring other firms into the fold. It is also gaining an “operating partner” with team members at Nexa Equity that have experience guiding software company growth, Fingles said. As they carry forward the aforementioned plan, the management team will continue in their positions with the company, working on the same product under the same brand.
“The ownership dynamic might have changed, but the leadership dynamic has not,” Fingles said. “The mission has not.”
The deal was the result of what Fingles said was a “rigorous process” to choose a partner for growth. The people side of the equation was a priority, Fingles said, and ultimately Leap found a chemistry with Nexa.
Nexa Equity Managing Partner Vlad Besprozvany said the firm conducted a review of the market and customer calls, in addition to meeting with Leap. He laid out several of the company’s strengths that helped to lead to the investment: One was the growth potential in the home services and field services market. The firm also saw a product that stood out for customers, offering a rich feature set that solved pain points.
“This was a really mission critical piece of customers’ workflows and day-to-day operations,” Besprozvany said. “Customers that were using Leap couldn’t envision a world without it.”
Nexa and Leap’s teams also found a strong connection, and Besprozvany specifically cited the strong dynamics among the people at Leap, including strong leadership and the culture among the team.
“What Patrick and team are building is really unique and differentiated,” Besprozvany said, adding that the firm has a “huge amount of excitement in what feels like a unique, one of a kind company.”