January 13, 2021
Cascadia Capital, an investment bank serving middle market clients globally, today announced it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Pathable, a virtual event and meeting platform, in its acquisition by Community Brands, which has a portfolio of technology solutions for associations, non-profits and schools.
Co-founded in 2008 by Seattle entrepreneurs Jordan Schwartz, Peter Brown and Shelly Farnham, Pathable originally served as a private, branded social network platform for conference attendees, but evolved over the years to provide mobile apps and online community sites for events. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, Pathable rapidly pivoted, adapting its existing product suite to create a “virtual event” platform that allowed meeting managers to provide fully featured meetings entirely online.
Pathable produced its first virtual meeting six weeks after deciding to transition, and business boomed after that. By early summer, virtual meetings were driving monthly revenues that were over 2,000 percent greater than the same periods in 2019.
Recognizing that the event industry was undergoing a seismic shift, Schwartz sought an acquirer with the resources and infrastructure to take advantage of the new landscape and, together, define the newly emerging virtual and hybrid event category. Community Brands and Pathable had partnered briefly in 2018 to integrate Pathable’s mobile app technology with Community Brands’ association management suite, so the relationships and technology touchpoints were ripe for further development.
“Pathable smartly pivoted the business to a virtual event platform in March 2020, and quickly became one of the leading solutions in the market,” noted Teague Collins, Cascadia Capital Managing Director. “By joining the Community Brands platform, Pathable will continue to be a driving force in the virtual, hybrid and live event sector.”
“In Community Brands, we found a co-visionary for what events will become in a post-COVID era,” said Jordan Schwartz, Pathable’s co-founder and CEO. “Their deep roots in the association, non-profit and education space offer a braintrust we want to leverage as we continue to evolve our offering in this swiftly developing environment.”
Sharon Love, Community Brands CEO, added that, “Today’s contactless world has brought about new challenges and new opportunities for many organizations. As in-person events have shifted online, virtual technology is more important than ever. Pathable complements Community Brands’ powerful event tech suite with capabilities sure to be invaluable for virtual and hybrid event production now and in the future. Together, we can deliver even greater value to our customers looking to increase engagement, create new revenue streams, and hold successful events no matter the format.”
“While the relationship with Community Brands already existed, Cascadia was absolutely critical in helping us navigate the M&A process, ensuring that we had a proper array of options,” Schwartz added. “As a first time entrepreneur, I found their network and expertise invaluable to achieving the best possible outcome for our investors.”
Pathable is now part of the Community Brands portfolio of technology solutions, but will continue operations under its existing name and leadership.
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