Benevity acquires Swiss firm Alaya to extend global reach

Benevity is acquiring the Swiss SaaS platform Alaya for an undisclosed amount. According to Benevity management, the acquisition of Alaya helps cement its status as a global company in Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) tech.

“Companies around the world are recognizing the importance of building purpose into their businesses and creating opportunities for their employees to engage in the causes they care about,” said Maya Chorengel, co-managing partner of The Rise Fund and a Benevity board member.

“Adding the power of Alaya will allow Benevity to reach a broader set of companies across international markets.”

“Adding the power of Alaya will allow Benevity to reach a broader set of companies across international markets and deliver them authentic, locally relevant impact solutions,” she said.

Alaya offers corporate giving and volunteering software for employees, much like Benevity’s own corporate charitable donation management software and ESG tech. The company operates in Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Singapore. More than 90 companies use Alaya’s localized volunteering and giving content that is designed for companies looking to engage employees and address social, environmental and well-being challenges.

The deal is expected to close December 15, 2021.

Alaya will become Alaya by Benevity, and Alaya CEO André Abreu will transition to a new role at Benevity as president of international. Alaya’s 51 employees will join Benevity’s 800-strong team.

Kelly Schmitt, Benevity’s CEO, told BetaKit: “Benevity has been growing at a rapid pace for a number of years and this acquisition is intended to accelerate and further enhance our current market-leading global solution. Now with a team and operations across Europe and Asia, Benevity is becoming a global corporate purpose brand that can serve more companies in more geographies through a growing team of passionate people who are driven by purpose.”

Founded in 2008 and one of the first certified B Corps in Canada, Benevity has a global presence with offices across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The company has more than 600 enterprise clients, supports 20 languages.

The acquisition combines Alaya’s European and Asian footprint, and localized volunteering activities with Benevity’s payroll giving, grants management, and customer engagement solutions.

This year, Benevity also quietly acquired the Calgary-based startup Chaordix for an undisclosed price. Chaordix claims its community platform hosts millions of members across communities whose topics range from healthcare to sporting goods, from paint to blocks, and from high tech to higher education.

“With Chaordix, we are building strength around a community solution that enables companies to engage Employee Resource Groups, customers and other companies to collaborate on ideas and drive collective action in support of social and environmental issues,” Schmitt said.

Major investments into Benevity are helping fuel the company’s acquisitions. Equity investor Hg acquired a majority stake for an undisclosed amount in Benevity in December 2020 that reportedly brought the company’s valuation to more than $1 billion USD. In February, Hg brought in impact and sustainability funds The Rise Fund and Generation Investment Management (Generation) as new strategic minority investors into Benevity. The amount invested was not disclosed.

RELATED: Benevity reports record Giving Tuesday with over $112 million donated through its platform

In May 2020, Benevity founder Bryan de Lottinville relinquished his role as CEO and became executive chairman, but after his replacement departed for health reasons, de Lottinville once again took on the role of CEO in July.

In January, he gave up the CEO slot for a second time, becoming executive chairperson, while president and CFO Schmitt moved into de Lottinville’s position.

To date, Benevity claims it has processed nearly $8 billion in donations and 43 million hours of volunteering time, supporting 326,000 nonprofits across the world. The company also says its solutions have facilitated 530,000 positive actions and awarded 1.2 million grants worth a combined $12 billion.

Between January and September 2021, Benevity said it added nearly 100 new customers, including Hootsuite, Lenovo, and Instacart. Over half of these customers were mid-sized businesses, indicating growing demand for Benevity’s corporate purpose solution in the mid-market.

Benevity reported a record-setting Giving Tuesday in early December as $112.6 million CAD was donated to over 43,000 causes via the firm’s platform, more than double the amount given last year.

Image courtesy of Benevity

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel's reporting and writing on technology has appeared in, Canadian Business, Report on Business Magazine, Canada's National Observer, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among many others. He lives off-grid in Nova Scotia.

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