Growing Louisville companies to “good exits” has long been a priority of the Louisville startup community. And so it was cause for celebration on Tuesday when communications tech firm Indatus announced it had sold 80 percent of its company to Texas-based RealPage Inc. for $49 million.
RealPage renewed the lease on Indatus’s downtown building at 118 E. Main St. — the site of President Obama’s April visit — for three years, and, according to Business First’s Rachel Aretakis, pledged to retain its 80 Louisville employees. Twenty more employees will be spun off into a “new” startup called Voitress, helmed by Indatus CEO David Durik and president Phil Hawkins; the duo says they’re hoping for a similar exit for Voitress in three to five years.
At the monthly Venture Connectors Luncheon on Wednesday afternoon, the mood was palpably celebratory. Every single entrepreneur and investor Insider spoke with echoed the same sentiment regarding the Indatus acquisition: It’s a big win for the city and the startup community.
Lisa Bajorinas, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network at Greater Louisville Inc., announced the Indatus news to the gathering with a big “whoop whoop!” Later she told Insider that the acquisition was nothing but a win for Louisville because the jobs are staying in town. She also said Indatus had been early adopters of EnterpriseCorp and had worked closely with that department of GLI.
Indatus has been in the telecom business for more than 24 years. It provides cloud-based automated phone answering systems and call tracking mostly for apartment communities. On the hardware end of the business, it creates phone systems and network and cabling systems. The company handles more than 7 million calls a year and has Tier-2 data centers in Louisville, Denver, Colo., and Columbus, Ohio.
RealPage is a leading provider of software-enabled services to the rental housing industry. The company was founded in 1998 and helps its clients manage more than 9.5 million rental units a year.
Terry Gill, vice president of EnterpriseCorp, told Insider: “I’m happy to know the business will remain in Louisville. I also think this is another positive sign that Louisville is a vibrant entrepreneurial community. Indatus was an early client of EnterpriseCorp and like the vast majority of startups we work with, they built this company with this exact goal in mind. This is culmination of years of hard work and this sale demonstrates Louisville does indeed allow for these types of transactions.”