ConnectWise Capital is back in the headlines and preparing a fund containing roughly $10 million to $25 million. The money will be used to incubate ISVs that plug into ConnectWise Unite, a new management dashboard for managing all IT services across on-premises and the cloud.
ConnectWise Unite is a brand evolution of CloudConsole; it supports both on-premises & cloud services. The first big partnership, announced last week, involves Cisco Systems. Cisco VP Nirav Sheth is on hand at IT Nation to drive home the company’s commitment to MSPs in the SMB sector.
“We’re super, super committed to lighting this space up,” said Sheth. “We want to help are partners deliver capabilities from endpoint to the cloud, all together with a solid security posture.” (We’ll share more perspectives from him later today.
What Is ConnectWise Capital
Meanwhile, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini teased the fund during his IT Nation 2017 keynote this morning. And shared more details during a Q&A with media moments ago.
The investment fund doesn’t necessarily require ConnectWise to take an equity stake in the company, Bellini said. The goal is to incubate ISVs that plug into the Unite dashboard. Unite already supports AWS, Cisco, Microsoft Office 365 and Azure. (The Microsoft support is via ConnectWise CloudConsole, which essentially will merge with Unite in early 2018.)
ConnectWise Capital first surfaced around 2010. The company at the time invested in LabTech (RMM), Quosal (quoting and sales proposals) and there also was some sort of financial agreement with CharTec (hardware as a service and MSP sales training). ConnectWise in 2015 reorganized the LabTech and Quosal assets into a single corporate umbrella and rebranded the products as ConnectWise Automate and ConnectWise sell.
Unlike many rivals, ConnectWise is not private equity owned. Many of those rivals have shifted ownership and/or pursued M&A in the past couple of years. Two weeks ago Autotask and Datto confirmed a private equity-led merger. Continuum ownership shifted from one PE firm to another this past year. And SolarWinds MSP is backed by PE and pursuing a long-term path to IPO.
In stark contrast, ConnectWise remains closely held by Arnie and David Bellini, though employees also hold shares in the privately held firm.