Tech Investments & Associations – The Highlight Reel

If you didn’t tune in for Association Chat #assnchat Tuesday, you invested your time rather poorly! We talked all things tech investments and associations with Rob Wenger (@rwenger), CEO of Higher Logic. We also had a surprise appearance from Ben Martin (@bkmcae), the Chief Engagement Officer at Online Community Results.

Let’s catch up!

The Topic: Tech Investments & Associations – What You Need to Know


You can find a direct link to the replay here:

A little bit of background information:

In late September 2016, the cloud-based community platform provider Higher Logic closed  a $55 million investment from JMI Equity, a growth equity firm. Association execs and players in the association industry are fascinated to find out what the investment means for Higher Logic’s devoted users and the association community as a whole.

“This is the largest private equity funding that’s ever been made in the association space,” said Ben.

KiKi L’Italien agreed with Ben’s statement by saying that, “It’s incredible to hear this story.”

How did Higher Logic land this fairy tale story nine years after its founding?

They caught the attention of an investor with their fun and innovative business!

Since landing this investment, Higher Logic has, “spent the last 6-7 weeks working with our clients and JMI. It was incredibly upbeat.”

“Higher Logic has taken money here under the best circumstances,” says Ben. “They still have a say in everything they’re doing.”

For those who land an investor, a top notch piece of advice is to add layers to your business.

“We are adding layers to benefit the growth that we are already seeing and anticipating,” said Rob.

Always be proactive.

So what happens when the equity investments occur?

“When these equity deals get done, the investors are looking for a return. Somewhere between 4-6x what they put in,” said Ben. “Let’s say I put in $10k, in 4-6 years I expect to get back 6x what I put in.”

The discussion encouraged Margerie to ask: “So companies like yours will have added capabilities from these investments. I would assume this could have an affect on an association’s strategic planning. Could you speak to that?”

Rob answered her question quickly and effectively by saying, “Deals aren’t done until they’re done. We plan to do some acquisitions in the future. They’ll improve what the information associations get.”

Leading Tom Morrison to tweet to us: “As you look at 2017… don’t plan for a future you cannot predict.  PLAN for a FUTURE YOU WANT.”

The biggest takeaways from this chat:

  • If you want to land a position at Higher Logic (and something all businesses should look into doing!) – “We look for personality, as well as skills, when we hire.” – Rob Wenger
  • “A big investor in private equity are pension funds.” – Ben Martin.
  • Get more information regarding Not-for-profit Investments from
  • There were no interruptions from Gucci.

We signed off with Rob and Ben after a little over an hour of enlightening discussion.

What do you think about this awesome investment deal? We want to know! Tweet @assnchat using #assnchat to share your thoughts.

Check out the episode stream here:

Like Association Chat? Show your support by joining our Association Chat Facebook Group and subscribing to next week’s show! Association Chat is coming your way with a brand new episode – ASAE’s Path Forward with ASAE President and CEO John Graham and ASAE Board Chair Scott Wiley – on Tuesday 11/29 at 2pm EDT. Subscribe to the chat here:

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