Both ConnectWise and Continuum have roots that extend back to the earliest days of managed services as channel pros know it. The product today called ConnectWise Manage was one of the industry’s first PSA solutions for MSPs. Continuum, for its part, was born late in 2011 when the former Zenith Infotech spun off its RMM and BDR products as a separate company in a deal engineered by private equity firm Summit Partners.
Larger private equity investor Thoma Bravo acquired Continuum from Summit in 2017, and bought ConnectWise as well earlier this year. Other names in its steadily expanding roster of vendors that serve MSPs and other IT providers include backup and security vendor Barracuda Networks, which it bought just under two years ago, and Sophos, which it announced intentions to buy earlier this month.
The company retains an ownership stake as well in SolarWinds, which it bought together with fellow equity investor Silver Lake Partners in 2016 and listed publicly last year.
Lured by the managed services market’s massive potential, other private investors have been purchasing and combining vendors that serve MSPs in recent years. Vista Equity Partners, for example, merged Datto with Autotask two years ago to form one of the industry’s first cross-platform giants. Kaseya, which has been owned by Insight Partners since 2013 and recently raised another $500 million in outside capital, has acquired not only IT Glue but BDR vendor Unitrends, cloud-to-cloud backup vendor Spanning, assessment and compliance vendor RapidFire Tools, and security vendor ID Agent just since May of last year.
ChannelPro awarded ConnectWise founder Arnie Bellini its first-ever lifetime achievement All-Star award this year following his decision to transfer CEO duties to Magee as part of the Thoma Bravo deal following 37 years in that role.