An Australian start-up whose app helps seniors stay connected with friends and family has acquired a US social network to boost its expansion in the US.
Tapestry founder and chief executive Andrew Dowling told StartupSmart that the team behind ConnectAround Inc., a social network designed for residents of active living retirement communities, would be a “fantastic asset” for Tapestry.
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“The acquisition was a really good fit,” Dowling says, adding that ConnectAround’s customers were the same people Tapestry was seeking to reach.
He says as Tapestry has grown and evolved, the company has realised the opportunity in the aged care and retirement living spaces.
“The US is overwhelmingly the most attractive and forward looking market in this area,” he says.
Acquiring ConnectAround would make it easier for Tapestry to break into the US market without needing to start from scratch.
Dowling says that an Australian company entering the US faced challenges, including being perceived as an “outsider” without relationships in the country.
ConnectAround founder Marcie Rogo will assume the role of head of operations for Tapestry in the US. The company, based in California, was formed in 2011 as the first safe and private social network connecting residents of active retirement living communities.
Details of the acquisition were not disclosed, although Dowling said it was an equity deal with shareholders of ConnectAround taking up an interest in Tapestry.
Dowling says discussions with ConnectAround started around 18 months ago after he was told of Rogo and her firm.
“I contacted her looking at ways to partner with her team,” he says. “As we continued on our journey and expanding, it was clear some of the things we were doing overlapped with ConnectAround.”
They discussed ways to collaborate and decided on going ahead with an acquisition.
Dowling says the process taught him two lessons: one, that the acquisition was “much more complex than we thought it would be” because of dealing with multiple parties; and two, it gave him a greater appreciation for growing through acquisitions rather than organic growth.
He says the “whole start-up story” is about speed and won’t rule out future acquisition opportunities if they arise.