Software Private Equity King Reigns Supreme

Robert Smith’s private equity firm Vista Equity has reportedly raised more than $14 billion of a $16 billion upper limit for its seventh flagship fund. To put this number into context, if Vista achieves its $16 billion target, it will be the seventh largest U.S. buyout fund raised in the last 10 years.

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What’s perhaps even more impressive, is its recent track record of raising capital across its various funds. Since 2012, it has raised a total of $38 billion across 8 funds. Its flagship fund VI was raised just two years ago in 2017 reaching $11 billion.

And along with the gobs of money in its coffers, the firm has acquired 59 companies along the way. Its most recent was Black Mountain Systems in May of 2019, before that was PlanSource Holdings in March of 2019 and before that were Quick Base and MINDBODY, which it acquired for $1.9 billion.

We recently wrote about Robert Smith and how he has decided to become a more public figure with his philanthropic initiatives. Smith is also remarkable for the team he has built over the years. One of his key lieutenants is Alan Cline.

Apart from being a key leader at Vista Equity Partners, Alan Cline's multidimensional background and depth as an entrepreneur, operations executive and venture capital investor has made him well known and highly regarded among the inner circles of top software companies.

Alan received his BS in systems engineering from the University of Virginia, where he graduated with distinction and began to lay the groundwork for his strong technical background. He also obtained an MBA from Stanford University.

Prior to rejoining Vista in 2008, Alan served as a General Partner at Accretive LLC, a venture capital firm focused on high growth technology-enabled service companies. Before Accretive, he worked with Vista for half of a decade and was involved with the sale of SRC Software to Business Objects. Cline was Interim Vice President of Marketing at SRC Software from 2003 to 2004.

Previously, the private equity executive co-founded and served as General Manager of movie ticketing company Fandango, after spending time at Goldman Sachs & Co. in the investment bank’s Mergers & Acquisitions and High Technology Groups.

Cline’s sharp focus and deep industry experience has brought him to lead many of Vista’s past investments including deals with BigMachines, SRC Software, Aspect Communications, Relias Learning, Accruent and more. His co-workers speak to his work ethic, intelligence, strategic thinking and ability to deliver results as factors that make him an exceptional leader.