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Autotask, Datto Merging In MSP-Centric Private Equity Deal

Autotask and Datto are merging, ChannelE2E has learned. The combined company will be an SMB technology pure play that offers cloud-centric data protection, backup, disaster recovery, networking equipment, RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) for managed services providers, sources say.

Vista Equity Partners -- Autotask's parent -- is acquiring Datto and merging the two technology companies, multiple sources close to the private equity industry say. An official announcement is expected as soon as Thursday, October 26, those third-party sources say.

> Related: All Autotask-Datto Merger News Coverage

Datto has been seeking a buyer for several months. The company hired Morgan Stanley to pursue potential suitors, source say, though ChannelE2E does not know if Morgan Stanley was involved in this deal.

Datto and Autotask: Who's Leading?

Mark Cattini, SVP of field service, Salesforce
Autotask CEO Mark Cattini
Datto Founder Austin McChord

The combined Autotask-Datto company will be led by Datto's executive team, some sources suggest -- though we have not confirmed that detail.

According to a source familiar with the deal, ownership intends to ensure that all products remain open to third-party integrations because the MSP ecosystem as a whole only succeeds on truly open platforms. 

Still, the combined business is expected to compete against ConnectWise, Continuum, Kaseya and SolarWinds MSP, among several other MSP-centric technology companies. Watch for competition to also intensify in the MSP-centric data protection market, where rivals like AcronisBarracuda MSPeFolderInfrascaleStorageCraft and Veeam compete, among others.

Both Autotask and Datto are believed to be growing, and the businesses have minimal product overlap. The few areas of potential overlap include:

  • Autotask offers an endpoint backup service, but it hasn't been a head-on alternative to Datto's overall business continuity business.
  • Datto had offered a free file sync and sharing tool but I believe it's no longer a product focus for the company. Autotask has its own file sync and sharing.

Integration Challenges?

Combining the two entities won't be easy. The companies have separate cloud management systems. Moreover, Datto partners with multiple Autotask rivals, while Autotask partners with numerous Datto rivals. Maintaining those relationships could be a tricky tightrope walk, ChannelE2E believes. But here again, sources close to the deal insist the APIs and integrations across third-party platforms will remain in place.

Side note: Thoma Bravo owns both Continuum and SolarWinds MSP, but the two software companies are technically held in separate investment funds and there are no plans to merge those businesses, multiple sources have suggested in recent weeks.

ChannelE2E has reached out to Autotask and Datto for comment and we will update this blog continuously in the hours ahead. Keep checking back for details.

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.