Software Startup Classy Adds Ex-Okta, Civitas Execs to C-Suite

Enterprise software startup Classy, which developed a platform through which it says nonprofit organizations have raised nearly $1 billion for their causes, has hired its first-ever chief revenue and chief product officers.

Adam Aarons, the new chief revenue officer, was also named Classy’s president. The company, based in downtown San Diego, is headed by CEO Scot Chisholm.

Chisholm, who with the company’s co-founders initially built the platform to facilitate their own fundraising events, launched an improved version for broader use in 2011. Users of the platform, which number in the thousands, range from small organizations including the Trevor Project to charities that annually raise millions, including the Robin Hood Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Aarons, who will lead the company’s sales and customer success management teams, has experience in enterprise software sales. He most recently played a key role in taking San Francisco’s Okta (NASDAQ: OKTA) public. Okta, which offers cloud application management services, raised $187 million in its 2017 initial public offering. Previously, Aarons held sales positions at BMC Software, BladeLogic, OpenPages, and Agile Software.

Neena Gupta Needel, the new chief product officer, will lead Classy’s product management and data insights teams. She joined the San Diego startup from Austin, TX-based Civitas Learning, where she led product management. Previously she managed product growth and strategy at HomeAway, another Austin-based company; Expedia acquired HomeAway, which is also headquartered in Austin, in 2015 for $3.9 billion. Gupta Needel also previously held positions at IBM Research.

Classy has made a number of additions to its growing C-suite this year. In January the company announced it had hired chief marketing officer Carilu Dietrich, who previously headed corporate marketing at Atlassian, and Ron Wangerin to oversee the company’s finances and operations.

Chisholm, in a prepared statement, said the latest hires were intended to help expand the company at a “very pivotal time.” Classy “nearly tripled” its enterprise business in the past 12 months, he said.

The company hired its first chief technology officer in 2015. Mike Young, formerly CTO at Seattle, WA-based Redfin, joined the company as it announced raising $18 million from Mithril Capital, the San Francisco investment firm started in 2012 by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Other investors in Classy—its backers have collectively invested $53 million—include JMI Equity, Salesforce Ventures, and Bullpen Capital.

Sarah de Crescenzo is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can reach her at sdecrescenzo at xconomy.com. Follow @sarahdc

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