Fishers-based tech company Bluebridge Digital Inc. has sold two subsidiaries for $8 million to focus its attention on its newest business, a fast-growing employee-engagement app service called Emplify. Bluebridge plans to begin operating under the Emplify name.
The separate transactions involving its church and tourism business units closed Tuesday, Bluebridge announced Wednesday morning.
Pushpay Holding Ltd. acquired Bluebridge Churches LLC, which produces mobile apps that connect congregations with their members. Pushpay, based in Auckland, New Zealand, has a U.S. office in Redmond, Washington.
Tucson, Arizona-based Simpleview Inc. acquired Bluebridge Tourism LLC, which produces mobile apps for the tourism industry.
Bluebridge said it will invest the entire $8 million into growing its Emplify business, which launched in July. The company plans to retain its 50 employees and add about 25 by the end of next year, said Santiago Jaramillo, Emplify’s founder and CEO.
“We’re not taking the money out of the business. We’re pouring every dollar back into Emplify,” Jaramillo said.
Jaramillo said the money will go toward hiring additional employees, product development, and sales and marketing.
Emplify offers clients a branded smartphone app that they can use for things like sending out push notifications and conducting employee surveys. The app also includes a staff directory with photos and contact information, and links to information about company policies and benefits.
Bluebridge, founded in 2011, developed the employee-engagement app in the summer of 2015 as an internal tool for its own staff.
“We loved it so much that it triggered the next logical question: Should we help other companies in this way?” Jaramillo said.
Bluebridge launched the app in January as Bluebridge Employee Engagement. By the end of the first quarter, Jaramillo said, more than half of Bluebridge’s new sales were coming from the employee engagement app.
“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for a mobile-app approach to employee engagement,” Jaramillo said.
In July, the service was renamed and launched as Emplify, backed by $3 million in venture capital funding.
Emplify has more than 50 customers in the construction, retail, real estate, manufacturing and health care industries. Those clients include the NFL Trust, Duke Realty Corp., R.T. Moore Mechanical Contractors, Medxcel Facilities Management, Which Wich Inc. and Gaylor Electric Inc.