Private equity, Content

Accel-KKR Acquires Salesforce Cloud ISV Kimble PSA

Private equity firm Accel-KKR has acquired Kimble Applications, a provider of cloud-based professional services automation (PSA) software that runs on the Salesforce platform.

This is technology M&A deal number 172 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2021. See all technology M&A deals for 2021 and 2020 listed here.

Accel-KKR plans to further accelerate Kimble's growth in North America both organically and vial tuck-in acquisitions. The PSA software provider's initial roots were in London.

PSA Software Market Growth, Niches

The PSA software market will reach about $14.39 billion by 2022, up from $6.26 billion in 2014, according to Grand View Research.

Within the MSP and IT services provider markets, ConnectWise Manage and Datto’s Autotask are widely considered the North American market share leaders, with platforms like Kaseya BMSAtera, Syncro, Harmony PSA, Tigerpaw Software and dozens more carving out their own niches.

Ingram Micro reportedly acquired Harmony PSA in 2020, though an official deal was never publicly announced.

In the midmarket and enterprise, meanwhile, companies such as Oracle NetSuite and WorkDay also offer PSA software platforms.

Salesforce Cloud for PSA, RMM, IT Service Management

The Salesforce ISV ecosystem is particularly active with emerging and established PSA providers, mostly because of Salesforce’s massive installed base and application marketplace, as well as the natural link between CRM and PSA services.

In addition to Kimble Applications, key PSA providers in the Salesforce market include FinancialForce (extending into cloud ERP) and Klient (formerly Krow Software).

Accel-KKR's majority investment in Kimble surfaces one day after Tanium and Salesforce unveiled IT Service Center, a combination platform that supports ITSM (IT service management), RMM (remote monitoring and management) and cybersecurity capabilities.

Roll all the developments above together, and the Salesforce cloud is emerging as a singular destination for PSA, RMM, help desk and CRM capabilities.

Accel-KRR Expands Kimble PSA Investment: Details

Accel-KKR first invested in Kimble in early 2018. Now, the 2021 investment  shifts the private equity firm to Kimble's majority owner. Valuation details were not disclosed.

Greg Williams, managing director, Accel-KKR
Sean Hoban, CEO, Kimble Applications

In a lengthy prepared statement about the deal, Sean Hoban, co-founder of Kimble, said:

“In a world where the first post-sales interaction that customers have is with services teams, companies are very focused on ensuring their services organizations are well-informed, well-staffed and well-equipped to drive success. My co-founders and I experienced that firsthand, when we ran complex services organizations in our previous roles, and then founded Kimble in 2010 precisely to have a services-first lens. Fast forward a decade, demand for solutions that address critical challenges around scoping, resourcing and delivering projects for clients is higher than it’s ever been, and we see tremendous opportunities to further innovate and expand what’s possible in our category as companies continue to push for increased predictability in resource utilization, profitability, and business scalability.”

“This follow-on investment from Accel-KKR is validation that Kimble is a category leader and innovator – we couldn’t be prouder of the entire Kimble team and are excited about what’s ahead for the company. Over the three years of partnering with Accel-KKR, our teams have formed a strong relationship based on a shared vision for Kimble, resulting in some of our best operating years and robust expansion in North America. Kimble has seen tremendous growth over the past few years and is in a great place. With this investment, the business will continue to grow its position as a leader at the vanguard of the project management market and maintain its singular focus on furnishing clients with the best-in-class tools they need to consistently deliver value to their customers.”

Added Greg Williams, managing director of Accel-KKR and board member of Kimble:

“Since our initial investment in early 2018, we have enjoyed working with Kimble co-founders and management. Our new investment today represents a strong vote of confidence in Kimble, and in the exciting opportunities and innovations that lie ahead for the services automation industry at large.”

Accel-KKR Seeks Tuck-In Acquisitions

Maurice Hernandez, Accel-KKR

Concluded Maurice Hernandez, managing director of Accel-KKR and board member of Kimble:

“We plan to leverage Accel-KKR’s deep software expertise and network to help Kimble accelerate growth globally. Given our ongoing relationship with the Kimble team, we are already aligned on strategies including continued focus on North American growth, supporting the team in introducing new innovations to this category and pursuing strategic M&A opportunities. We are excited to invest further capital and resources in Kimble, which is distinguished by its entrepreneurial, customer-obsessed culture, an impressive roster of global clients such as Infor and Finastra, and strong positioning in the PSA market to deliver transformative solutions to clients.”

Read between the lines, and Accel-KKR is now hunting the software market for potential tuck-in acquisitions for Kimble's business.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.