The Active Network Stops for Overhaul Following a Decade of Acquisitions

About as far back as I can remember, The Active Network usually has made at least one acquisition by this time of year.

But it’s been a silent spring over at Active HQ in San Diego’s Sorrento Valley, where the venture-backed company develops software that customers use to manage recreational sports events, including online registration, payments, and marketing. Combining a business that’s focused on helping people to get out and about (triathalons, campground reservations, tennis tournaments) with strong capabilities in software development (I’m imagining code written by pudgy and translucent-skinned programmers who feed at night on bear claws from the snack machine) makes me wonder sometimes how active The Active Network’s 2,200 employees really are.

But I digress.

Until recently, The Active Network has been pursuing an aggressive growth-through-acquisition strategy that I once compared to kudzu, “the vine that ate the South.” To fund its growth, the company has raised more than $200 million from VC firms and other investors, including ESPN, Canaan Partners, Tao Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, Comdisco Ventures, and Performance Equity Partners. But The Active Network made its last noteworthy acquisition more than a year ago, when it bought the online campground reservation provider Reserve America from IAC, (NASDAQ: IACI).

So what happened? Is there a reason for The Active Network’s inactivity on the M&A front?

As it turns out, there is.

CEO Dave Alberga tells me that while the company has made some very small, undisclosed acquisitions, it began an ambitious program in late 2008 to overhaul and replace … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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16 responses to “The Active Network Stops for Overhaul Following a Decade of Acquisitions”

  1. Baughman says:

    I know a software engineer at the company. Indeed, he is pounds down the bear claws.

  2. The Keck says:

    I am a software engineer at the company. I too pounds down the bear claws.

  3. chukapriest says:

    I am pounds down the bear claws also. With Diet Coke With Lime!

  4. drfeu says:

    I am pounds down the bear claws with identity theft!

  5. chukapriest says:

    Go home, Doctor Fire, you’re drunk… with power!

  6. Arch Fuston says:

    I am a well respected Software Engineer at Active. And I’ll have you know that I am very fit. We run, cycle, and triathalonize during lunch every day.

  7. Homer Simpson says:

    I too am a Software Engineer at Active. I don’t eat bear claws from the vending machine. I get them from Dunkin.

  8. Nick says:

    My skin is opaque! How dare you sir.

  9. Irony says:

    I’m imagining finance articles written by pudgy and translucent-skinned bloggers who feed at night on bear claws from the snack machine. Kettle meet pot. Prejudice much?

  10. chukapriest says:

    You don’t work for Active, “Nick”! Nice try, but we can see right through you!

  11. drfeu says:

    Hey chuka. Where do you want to go for lunch today?

  12. The Keck says:

    My heavy amounts of bear claw consumption has unfortunately led to some gastrointestinal problems.

  13. chukapriest says:

    The Keck, you need to ease off the heavy stuff. Time to switch over to all-natural organic danishes, sandwiched between pop-tarts. The pop-tarts should be s’mores flavored. Good for the colon.