Private equity firm, Thoma Bravo has established itself as a dominant force in cybersecurity and MSP software following a series of acquisitions of major channel-led vendors over the last few years.
Founded in Chicago, the firm is now largely led by its main office in San Francisco. Having built its business by buying and building B2B software companies, it has now acquired over 230 software and technology companies. Earlier this year, it raised the largest fund ever by any Chicago private equity firm, taking in $12.6 billion from investors to keep buying companies in that industry.
During the NexGen 2019 Conference and Expo in Anaheim, California, Thoma Bravo Principal Mike Hoffmann reaffirmed the company’s commitment to supporting partner-friendly strategies at its portfolio businesses.
"By nature, we're specifically investing in a lot of companies that leverage the channel so successfully. We like to come in and see them continue to do that really, really effectively. Because it's the best way to access a bunch of customers," Hoffmann explained. "We certainly are big advocates of continuing to do it that way."
These companies include ConnectWise, Continuum, Barracuda Networks, and Imperva. As recently as October, Thoma Bravo bought British cybersecurity powerhouse, Sophos for $3.82 billion.
Speaking at the conference, Hoffmann spoke about the firm’s vision for a Florida-based remote IT management solutions company, Connectwise. He reiterated Thoma Bravo is both a "supporter and facilitator" not only for ConnectWise but all its portfolio companies.
"For ConnectWise specifically, we'd made a number of investments in the space, and had always admired the company that [co-founder] Arnie [Bellini] had built," Hoffmann said. "And I really appreciated how big of a driving force [ConnectWise] was in creating the landscape as it is today."
Brampton, an Ontario-based IT Weapons company is one such advocate for Thoma Bravo’s commitment. "They're thoughtful about making sure that they don't do business with people that don't have a strong leadership culture,” said Jeremy MacBean, director of marketing and communications at Brampton. “So they don't have to parachute in and intervene, and potentially mess up something that was working well. For anybody who like us is a longtime ConnectWise partner, hearing him speak that way is encouraging — that there is stability and respect for what the ConnectWise leadership team had built."