❯ Transactions

Vaquero Advises Apogee Interactive On Its Strategic Investment By M33 Growth

TUCKER, Ga. and AUSTIN, Texas, June 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Apogee Interactive – a provider of customer engagement, education, and communication software – and AIQUEOUS – a provider of customer relationship and program management software – have combined to create a premier customer relationship & engagement platform for utilities and utility service providers. The unified entity is backed by M33 Growth, a growth-stage investment firm that partners with founders and management teams who have bootstrapped their businesses to a point where they are aiming to breakthrough as market leaders.

Apogee has been empowering utilities with customer engagement solutions for two decades. “In founding and building Apogee, my husband Joel and I stayed intently focused on our strengths and passion for excellence,” said Susan Gilbert, Co-Founder of Apogee. “We only worked in areas where we believed we could be the best in the world at leveraging technology, analytics and innovation to promote energy stewardship to benefit the energy industry,” added Joel Gilbert, Co-Founder. “We are excited to see the company enter this new phase of growth, partnered with a team who shares our perspective and values.” Susan and Joel Gilbert will continue to support the business in an advisory capacity.

The transaction brings together a wealth of experience in the utility sector and provides a single-source vendor for outbound engagement and program execution & management. “Today, utilities are competing for their customers’ attention beyond the monthly bill,” said Jonathan Kleinman, CEO of AIQUEOUS. “Partnering with their customers to decarbonize, improve demand flexibility and meet efficiency goals requires customer awareness and a seamless digital path to participation. The combination of Apogee and AIQUEOUS potentially enables any energy or water service provider – including utilities, retailers, CCAs and suppliers – to deliver an exceptional customer engagement experience throughout the entire lifecycle.”

“At Apogee, we are always looking for ways to message utility customers in more relevant and personal ways,” said Jim Albert, Chief Technology Officer at Apogee. “Combining the Apogee and AIQUEOUS solutions allows us to better understand what critical factors drive program participation, and in the end will allow our customers to implement programs with engaged and satisfied customers.”

“We are excited to partner with M33 Growth and their commitment to the goal of building best-in-class software businesses,” said Jim Malcom, Chief Operating Officer of Apogee. “We are eager to share best practices with others in the M33 portfolio and leverage the team’s experience in the energy industry.”

“We believe that M33 is the perfect fit for AIQUEOUS as an equity partner,” said Kleinman. “By recognizing the value of our team, understanding the systems and support for our business stage, and experience scaling SaaS businesses, we believe that M33 provides the resources needed to achieve our mission and vision.”

“We are excited to partner with the Apogee and AIQUEOUS teams to redefine how today’s utilities engage with and educate their customers,” said Brian Shortsleeve, Co-Founder and Managing Director of M33 Growth. “We look forward to helping the team drive this next phase of growth in creating what we believe to be a cutting-edge customer engagement and relationship management software platform, purpose-built for utilities.”

Vaquero Capital LLC served as financial advisor to Apogee Interactive in connection with this transaction.

Acquired by
M33 Growth