Kaseya has acquired IT Glue, the MSP-centric documentation software company. The twist? Kaseya and private equity parent Insight Venture Partners have essentially owned IT Glue for roughly two years, operating the IT documentation company as an independent business, ChannelE2E has confirmed.
For several months now, some sources have speculated that Kaseya, Insight Venture Partners and/or Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola had investment stakes or outright ownership in IT Glue. The rumors escalated just before IT Glue's GlueCon conference in September 2018.
Now, the ownership model has been confirmed. IT Glue will continue to operate as a stand-alone, independent business-unit based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. IT Glue founder and former CEO Chris Day has stepped down and exited the business. The existing IT Glue management team will continue to run the organization, Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola tells ChannelE2E. Among the partners endorsing the deal in prepared statements: The 20 and StoredTech.
The IT Glue ownership revelations provide new context for how the company has funded its expansion over the past couple of years. The Kaseya-IT Glue journey provided IT Glue with key funding to accelerate its business, Voccola says. The investment agreement, confidential until now, also allowed IT Glue to operate independently -- and therefore maintain a Switzerland-like approach in the market, he adds.
Indeed, IT Glue has built partnerships and integrations with numerous platforms that compete with Kaseya's core RMM (remote monitoring and management), PSA (professional services automation), BDR (backup and disaster recovery) and security tools.
Kaseya Acquired IT Glue: The Numbers, The Rivals
No doubt, Kaseya and IT Glue are a formidable pair. Both have momentum in their respective market segments. Among the metrics to note:
- IT Glue is used by over 5,000 MSPs in 30 countries, serving over 60,000 users and 500,000 businesses globally.
- Kaseya solutions manage over 10 million endpoints worldwide.
- Kaseya had organic growth of roughly 35 percent in 2018.
- Together, Kaseya and IT Glue have about 1,100 employees. Roughly 115 of them work for IT Glue.
Voccola has vowed to maintain IT Glue's open platform approach -- ensuring that the software will integrate with a range of third-party tools, including those that compete with Kaseya's offerings. The annual IT Glue conference, now known as GlueX, also is moving forward, Voccola says.
Still, the Kaseya-IT Glue ownership announcement will likely prompt rivals to examine existing and potential partnerships in the MSP technology market, ChannelE2E believes.
Amid the chatter, several companies have been working overtime to complement or compete with IT Glue's various software offerings.
Companies in the market turning some heads include:
- Passportal, the well-known MSP password management provider has been moving into documentation management. CEO Colin Knox's 2019 focus: Privileged Client Knowledge Management;
- IT Boost, which generated some buzz at recent MSP-oriented conferences, with an assist from MSP University veteran Erick Simpson;
- Liongard, which is a close cousin to documentation management but not a head-on rival. The company is working closely with former ConnectWise Chief Revenue Officer Adam Slutskin; and
- Myki, which recently hired RapidFire Tools, AlienVault and BlackStratus veteran Richard Daly to drive MSP engagements.
Kaseya Acquired IT Glue: The Bigger M&A Picture
Kaseya and many of its core platform rivals remain in acquisition mode. The deals typically include business management, automation, and/or security-centric moves. Key examples include:
- Continuum acquired CARVIR for managed security and SOC services.
- ConnectWise acquired HashInclude Computech to develop the ConnectWise Unite platform, and also acquired Sienna Group for MSSP and MSP security education services.
- SolarWinds acquired Trusted Metrics for threat monitoring software and 8Man for access rights management.
- Datto, meanwhile, has been closely scrutinizing multiple acquisition opportunities, sources say, while also preparing to name a new CEO.
Kaseya itself has been particularly active on the M&A front. Key Kaseya deals include:
- February 2016: Acquiring Vorex for PSA (professional services automation) software.
- May 2017: Unigma for cloud cost management.
- May 2018: Unitrends for appliance-based backup and disaster recovery.
- September 2018: RapidFire Tools for network, security and compliance assessments.
- October 2018: Spanning for Office 365 and SaaS application backup.
Both Unitrends and Spanning were owned by Kaseya's private equity parent, Insight Venture Partners, ahead of the Kaseya M&A deals.
Insight has owned Kaseya since June 2013. All of the M&A activity could position Insight Venture Partners to sell Kaseya within the next six to 12 months, multiple sources speculate. However, there is no set deadline or "shot clock" for such a move, sources close to Kaseya have indicated.
Kaseya Acquired IT Glue: Chris Day's Next Moves
Meanwhile, IT Glue Founder and former CEO Chris Day appears to be working on several MSP and SaaS-oriented businesses. The focus areas include Top Down Ventures and Warranty Master. We've reached out to Day for comment about the Kaseya-IT Glue announcement, as well as his own plans for the future. We'll update this article if/when we hear back.