After selling IT Glue to Kaseya, former IT Glue CEO Chris Day remains very active in the technology market. His main focus is Top Down Ventures, an early-stage investment firm that owns stakes in Warranty Master, Backup Radar and Quoter, Day mentioned in phone and email interviews with ChannelE2E over the past few days.
"We are doing things differently than many other firms, but mostly we are into getting our hands dirty and helping companies to execute (not just cash)," Days writes in an email to ChannelE2E. "We include centralized services (e.g. finance, HR, ops, etc.) Many of the things entrepreneurs are quite frankly either not great at or prefer not to do. We are an accelerator (vs. incubator)."
Definition: Startup Accelerators vs. Incubators
Definitions various from company to company, but here's a general overview of an accelerator vs. an incubator, according to TechRepublic:
Accelerator programs usually have a set timeframe in which individual companies spend anywhere from a few weeks to a few months (though engagements can be even longer, ChannelE2E notes) working with a group of mentors to build out their business and avoid problems along the way. Y Combinator, Techstars, and the Brandery are some of the most well-known accelerators.
Incubators begin with companies (or even single entrepreneurs) that may be earlier in the process and they do not operate on a set schedule. If an accelerator is a greenhouse for young plants to get the optimal conditions to grow, an incubator matches quality seeds with the best soil for sprouting and growth. While there are some independent incubators, they can also be sponsored or run by VC firms, angel investors, government entities, and major corporations, among others. Some incubators have an application process, but others only work with companies and ideas that they come in contact with through trusted partners. A good example of an incubator is Idealab.
Top Down Ventures' Initial Investments
Top Down's current investments, Day says, include:
1. Warranty Master: The company's platform helps partners and businesses to manage and renew warranties. President and co-founder Anthony Day is Chris Day's brother. The company in November surpassed the 5,000 MSP, and is on a very quick upward trajectory, Chris Day asserts. Watch for a ServiceNow integration program to surface in 2019. (On a related note, Day is working with N-able co-founder Mark Scott on the CareWorx Fully Managed business -- which also has deep ServiceNow expertise.)
2. Backup Radar: This involves a 2018 investment with Backup Radar CEO Patrick Leonard. This tool is a "game-changer" for MSPs, but also for midmarket enterprise and overall Enterprise IT," Day asserts. It provides consolidated backup reporting across multiple tool sets for compliance and reporting needs. Patrick is also the CEO of MyIT in New Orleans, where Day also has been a financial partner.
3. Quoter: This involves an in-progress re-branding from Socket, and a 2018 investment with CEO Mike Walsh, the founding engineer at IT Glue. It sounds like Quoter will potentially compete with Quotewerks and ConnectWise Sell (formerly Quosal). A "very disruptive" product launch is coming soon, Day asserts.
Kaseya and IT Glue: Day's Exit
Day exited IT Glue earlier this month, around the time Kaseya announced that it has owned the company for roughly two years. Under that ownership relationship, the IT documentation business has run independently from Kaseya, and will continue to do so, according to Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola.
In a phone conversation with ChannelE2E about the M&A journey, Day thanked both Voccola and Kaseya's parent -- Insight Venture Partners -- for their support during Day's time building and accelerating the business.