IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Thoma Bravo Buys Continuum

The deal transfers ownership of the managed services software maker from private equity firm Summit Partners to the same investment firm that owns SolarWinds, and with it Continuum competitor SolarWinds MSP. By Rich Freeman

Thoma Bravo LLC, a private equity firm headquartered in Chicago, has acquired managed services software maker Continuum from fellow equity investor Summit Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The deal unites two leading providers of RMM and related managed services solutions, Boston-based Continuum and Austin Texas-based SolarWinds Worldwide LLC, under common ownership. Thoma Bravo and affiliates of venture capital firm Silver Lake Partners purchased SolarWinds last year for $4.5 billion.

Summit Partners launched Continuum in 2011 after purchasing the RMM and network operations center assets of the former Zenith Infotech and adding a BDR solution to those products.

During an interview with ChannelPro last year, CEO Michael George predicted that the company would become the world’s largest RMM and BDR provider by the first quarter of 2017, based on its growth rate at the time. Relocating to Thoma Bravo’s stable of IT properties, he suggested today, will position the company to build upon and accelerate that record of success.

“Thoma Bravo is the perfect financial and strategic partner for us at this important stage of our company’s growth,” said George in prepared remarks. “This investment will enable us to continue to capitalize on our core value propositions and increase critical investments in product development as well as sales and marketing tools for our MSP partners to help accelerate their growth. We are incredibly grateful for the partnership and support we have received from Summit Partners, and are confident that Thoma Bravo’s operational expertise, knowledge of the space and strategic support will be invaluable to us as we focus ambitiously on our company’s future.”

Thoma Bravo’s acquisition of Continuum was executed by its Discover Fund, which focuses on growth-oriented technology companies in the lower midmarket.

“Continuum sets the industry standard with its turn-key approach in the Remote Monitoring and Management market for MSPs,” said Thoma Bravo partner A.J. Rohde in today’s press release. “We know this market well, and have followed the company for a long time. What Michael George and his team have delivered on in terms of an innovative product suite and full software and services model has been very impressive, and we can’t wait to work with them to accelerate the world-class offering they deliver to MSPs, both organically and through add-on acquisitions.”

Continuum’s change of private ownership extends a wave of acquisitions and mergers that’s been sweeping the managed services software market for years. AVG Technologies, for example, purchased LPI Level Platforms Inc. in 2013, shortly before SolarWinds bought RMM vendor N-able Technologies. The following year, Vista Equity Partners acquired PSA vendor Autotask Corp. for roughly $11.5 billion just three months before Autotask bought RMM software maker CentraStage.

In 2016, meanwhile, SolarWinds purchased LOGICnow and combined it with N-able to form SolarWinds MSP. Weeks later, Avast Software bought AVG for $1.3 billion.

Continuum hired a new CFO in March. In his interview with ChannelPro last fall, George said the company would introduce a security operations center this year as well.