Social Solutions, an Austin-based software firm supporting nonprofits and government social service agencies, has gained a major strategic investment partnership from Microsoft’s former CEO, Steve Ballmer.
Ballmer Group, Steve and Connie Ballmer’s philanthropic organization, pledged $59 million over five years to not only support Social Solutions product development but also to make its software platform, Apricot, more affordable to nonprofits by cutting licensing costs.
This investment will enable us to provide technology for organizations that will ultimately transform entire communities.”
Connie Ballmer said social service organizations fall about 20 years behind private sector businesses when it comes to adoption of tech and data platforms. By investing in businesses that specialize in modern tools specific to this industry, like Social Solutions, Ballmer Group hopes to cut that delay.
“Our mission is to give kids living in poverty in the United States a chance at moving up — and demand for social services to enable that is rising faster than the nonprofit sector’s ability to meet it,” said Connie Ballmer in a statement. “We need to strengthen this sector, and measurement of the impact of services is at the core of any progress here.”
Social Solutions’ software provides support in tracking data, managing cases and measuring outcomes, with the goal of freeing up nonprofits from spending time on manual data analytics, giving them more time to support their causes.
Steve Ballmer said this partnership marks his organization’s biggest commitment yet to improving data services for nonprofit, education and social services work.
“We are impressed with the mission and work of Social Solutions, and I hope others in the tech industry will also accelerate efforts in this sector, bringing more cloud solutions and expertise on how to use data to improve our communities,” said Steve Ballmer in a statement.
Social Solutions will put the funding toward research and development, new feature deployments, an improved user experience, integration expansions with other public and nonprofit systems, and to lower licensing costs for early showcase users of its core application, Apricot.
As part of the partnership, Steve Ballmer will become a board observer for Social Solutions, and Ballmer Group will take a financial interest in the company.
“Our mission has always been to help people change lives, and this investment will enable us to provide technology for organizations that will ultimately transform entire communities across the U.S.,” said Kristin Nimsger, CEO of Social Solutions. “This is also great news for Austin because our growth will afford us the opportunity to hire terrific new talent to help broaden our efforts moving forward.”