Private Equity Continues to Redraw MSP Software Industry Map
The Kaseya and Unitrends merger, announced this morning, is the latest M&A deal with private equity ownership working behind the scenes. Over the past few years, private equity investments have redrawn the MSP software industry map multiple times. Today, that map increasingly extends into midmarket enterprise IT departments…
It wasn’t always like this. The MSP software market was once a renegade industry that largely lived outside of the Wall Street and PE spotlight. That began to change when ConnectWise launched an investment fund in 2010 and began piecing together MSP-centric software assets.
Not long after, private equity firms began to discover the sector — especially as cloud services caught on. While venture capitalists pumped money into high-valuation cloud startups, private equity firms pumped money into the growing MSP software sector, assuming the recurring revenue model (so similar to the cloud sector) would deliver solid returns.
MSP Software Industry: Private Equity, M&A Investment Timeline
The overall timeline looks something like this…
- 2010 – February: ConnectWise announces ConnectWise Capital, invests in LabTech
- 2011 – May: ConnectWise Capital invests in Quosal
- 2011 – September: Summit Partners acquires Continuum (formerly Zenith RMM)
- 2013 – May: SolarWinds acquires N-able
- 2013 – June: Insight Venture Partners acquires Kaseya
- 2013 – November: Insight Venture Partners acquires Unitrends
- 2014 – June: Vista Equity Partners acquires Autotask
- 2015 – November: ConnectWise reorganizes investments into single company
- 2016 – February: Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo acquire SolarWinds
- 2016 – January: TA Associates acquires StorageCraft
- 2016 – June: SolarWinds acquires LogicNow, launches SolarWinds MSP division
- 2017 – June: Thoma Bravo acquires Continuum
- 2017 – July: eFolder, backed by K1, acquires Axcient
- 2017 – August: Auvik Networks raises $11.8 million
- 2017 – October: Marlin Equity Partners acquires majority control of AppRiver
- 2017 – November: Thoma Bravo acquires Barracuda and associated Barracuda MSP business
- 2017 – November: Vista Equity Partners acquires Datto, and merges Autotask into Datto
- 2018 – May: Kaseya and Unitrends, two Insight Venture Partners portfolio companies, merge.
- Timeline Source: ChannelE2E
Stay tuned: This blog, featuring deeper analysis, will be updated throughout Thursday.