Hivebrite, the Paris-based community management and engagement platform, has closed a $20 million Series A round led by Insight Partners.

Launched in 2015, Hivebrite was initially intended to help alumni connect and network with each other, but the founders quickly realised it could be used in many more industries and market segments. Today the platform enables community managers to create branded portals, manage memberships, create and promote events, share employment and mentoring opportunities, collect donations, communicate with members and run analytics on user engagement.

Understanding how and why communities are created, then designing the product to fit that flexibility, has been key in Hivebrite’s development and success.

“We’ve learned two major lessons after working with hundreds of customers these past few years. The first one is that people create communities for a number of different reasons. You may start a community in order to build a solid base of volunteers that you can mobilize when needed, or to facilitate the sharing of expertise and knowledge, or to boost employment by matching talents with opportunities, or to or to collect feedback from your power-users, or to raise funds for causes – use cases are endless, and success can look different from one community to the next,” said Jean Hamon, CEO of Hivebrite.

“The second big takeaway is that the needs of each community evolve over time. It’s often difficult to predict how your community will grow and behave, and how you will want to leverage it in the long run, which creates a need for a platform with a large feature set and great user experience, but also an extremely high degree of flexibility so you don’t have to migrate your community to another platform in the future.”

The French software is used by hundreds of communities in over 40 countries, across a wide set of industry segments: non-profits, professional networks, startups and investors, corporate alumni, public organizations, and others. Current customers include the University of Notre Dame, TED, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Fulbright Program.

The lead investor of this Series A is also a customer. Peter Sobiloff, Managing Director at Insight Partners and Hivebrite board member, said: “Our investment in Hivebrite is a testament to our belief in this innovative platform. As a customer, we are proud to have incorporated Hivebrite into our firm’s community management practice – as an investor, we look forward to seeing others follow suit.”

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