Mergers and Acquisitions, Private equity, MSP

Your Guide to MSP Investment Platform Companies

MSP Investment Platform Company Profiles:

Have you ever contemplated an exit from your managed service provider, selling the company you founded either to another MSP, MSSP or private equity firm? Plenty of MSPs have done just that over the past several years. Monthly recurring revenues make MSPs an attractive investment for private equity and other investors.

You may even have been contacted by bigger MSPs or by private equity firms asking about whether you plan to sell.

If you are ready to sell or getting ready, what’s the next step? How do you decide which “platform” company is a fit for your MSP? Will you choose an exit, or do you want to stay with the company after it is acquired? Will the acquiring company fully absorb your company into its existing operations or will it maintain your brand and IT stack? What’s the acquirer’s culture and business philosophy? And has the acquirer discussed their own exit plan? What happens if and when they decide to recapitalize or sell?

These are key questions as you evaluate which MSP platform company is right for your ultimate exit.

To help you answer these questions, ChannelE2E, the destination for MSP merger and acquisition news and insights, has launched a series of company profiles that take a deeper look at MSP platform investment companies.

Think of this as your guide to MSP platform companies. We’re launching this landing page with a few profiles, but we will update this page on a regular basis so you have a single place to go for all the information you need on MSP platform companies. So bookmark this page and check back weekly as we add more profiles.

Here’s the ChannelE2E MSP Platform Company Guide:

BrightWorks IT’s Strategic Approach to Mergers and Acquisitions

BrightWorks IT prioritizes cultural fit as a core element of its acquisition strategy. 

BrightWorks IT was established with a vision to blend technical expertise with a strong cultural foundation, according to Damen Seminero, chief operating officer. He said the company’s leadership prioritized collaboration and inclusivity from the outset. Seminero emphasized that this foundational approach, which focused on shared values and clear goals, helped guide the company's early growth and continues to shape its strategic direction today.

BrightWorks IT is a network of MSPs that share resources, best practices, and expertise. The company is backed by private equity firm Cloud Equity Group.

BrightWorks IT looks to fill competency gaps or provide new expertise to expand its capabilities into new industry verticals and service offerings. Financial stability and potential for growth are important, according to Seminero. 

Read the full profile of BrightWorks IT here.

From Networking to Acquisition: How Ntiva Integrates New MSPs

Ntiva, a platform MSP, began expanding through acquisitions in 2017 after securing private equity backing. Ntiva’s M&A process aims to maintain service quality and client relationships while leveraging Ntiva’s broader resources and expertise.

Like many platform MSPs, an important aspect of Ntiva’s strategy is its emphasis on cultural fit and building trust. According to Christopher Vollmond-Carstens, Ntiva’s chief M&A officer, the company prioritizes building a strong rapport with potential acquisition targets before finalizing any deals. 

This approach ensures that the merging entities share similar values and business philosophies, according to Vollmond-Carstens. Ntiva is backed by private equity firm PSP Partners, a Chicago-based family office investment firm led by Penny Pritzker, the former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The firm focuses on long-term investments, partnering with companies to support sustainable growth and development.

Read the full profile of Ntiva here.

The 20 MSP: Growing a Family of Million-Dollar MSPs

The 20 MSP founder Tim Conkle imagined a collaborative network of many MSPs, where owners could share wins from one company to the next. For instance he evisioned a world where MSPs could share labor consumption. For example, if your MSP had an Azure expert but you didn’t have enough work for them to do, another MSP could use that expert for their clients. 

This model would allow cooperating MSPs to offer a more competitive and cohesive service across different geographic regions. The 20 MSP aimed to optimize operational costs and enhance service efficiency by pooling resources like labor and technical expertise, thus leveraging shared knowledge and infrastructure to benefit all members of the network.

That initial step led to a company that is now a substantial force in the industry, with over 30 acquisitions and an expanding network of MSPs that operate cohesively under a unified business model.

When an MSP joins The 20, they start out by joining “the group.” This allows the MSP to take advantage of any skills or services offered by other team members. It also allows The 20 a firsthand look at the company’s operations.

In order for an MSP to get to the point where they can be acquired, they need to make around $1 million in revenue. They also need to have taken part in the community, explained Conkle.

Read the full profile of The 20 MSP here.

Jessica C. Davis

Jessica C. Davis is editorial director of CyberRisk Alliance’s channel brands, MSSP Alert, MSSP Alert Live, and ChannelE2E. She has spent a career as a journalist and editor covering the intersection of business and technology including chips, software, the cloud, AI, and cybersecurity. She previously served as editor in chief of Channel Insider and later of MSP Mentor where she was one of the original editors running the MSP 501.