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Private Equity Firm Acquires AppRiver for Microsoft Office 365 Cybersecurity Services

AppRiver CEO Michael Murdoch
AppRiver Co-founder Michael Murdoch
AppRiver Founder and CEO Michael Murdoch

Marlin Equity Partners has acquired AppRiver, a major Microsoft Office 365 cloud security services partner that supports thousands of MSPs worldwide. Financial terms were not disclosed. Backed by the private equity owner, AppRiver will pursue organic and 'inorganic' growth, which means more acquisitions are possible.

AppRiver provides cloud-based cybersecurity and productivity software and services to more than 53,000 partners and customers worldwide. The company's focus areas include Office 365 onboarding along with spam and virus filtering, web malware protection, email encryption, secure archiving and email continuity services.

Under Founder and CEO Michael Murdoch, AppRiver has grown for 15 consecutive years through the end of 2016, and it's a safe bet the company has continued to grow this year. Overall corporate revenue grew 16 percent in 2016 vs. 2015, along with 24 percent revenue growth in its channel business, the company told ChannelE2E earlier this year. Moreover, AppRiver recorded a 22 percent year-over-year increase in channel partners and a 19 percent increase in partner customers last year. The company's five largest partners increased their monthly revenue by 29 percent on average, AppRiver said in early 2017.

AppRiver Acquired: More Acquisitions Coming?

So what does the future hold? AppRiver and Marin Equity Partners point to continued growth opportunities, though their statements about the private equity deal didn't go into deep details.

According to a prepared statement from AppRiver CEO Michael Murdoch:

“In a world with new and complex cybersecurity threats emerging daily, small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly looking to AppRiver as a trusted partner to keep their businesses productive and their information secure. We are excited to mark a new chapter in AppRiver’s growth by partnering with Marlin and leveraging its extensive sector expertise and operational resources to further strengthen our product offering and expand our geographical footprint.”

Marlin Equity Partners’ Peter Chung

Added Peter Chung, a principal at Marlin Equity Partners:

“We are thrilled to partner with AppRiver and build upon its deep and long-standing customer relationships that have been established through a superior product offering and commitment to world-class support. AppRiver is ideally positioned to lead and innovate in today’s security-conscious environment as businesses of all sizes continue to transition to a cloud-based deployment model. We look forward to helping AppRiver accelerate its growth by pursuing both organic and inorganic expansion opportunities, while continuing to deliver exceptional service to existing customers and partners.”

Reread Chung's statement and that line about 'inorganic' expansion suggests AppRiver is in the market to make acquisitions. Marlin Equity Partners is a global investment firm with over $6.7 billion of capital under management, the company says.

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.