Francisco Partners is an American private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses. Founded in August 1999 and based in San Francisco and London, Francisco Partners Management L.P. has raised approximately USD $14 billion in committed capital. The firm currently has five active funds and roughly 50 current portfolio companies, including Verifone, Renaissance Learning, Bomgar, GoodRx, Quest, BluJay (formerly Kewill), ClickSoftware Technologies, SmartBear Software, and SonicWall.
|Founders||Dipanjan Deb, Benjamin Ball, Neil Garfinkel, Sanford R. "Sandy" Robertson, David Stanton|
|Dipanjan Deb (CEO), David Golob (CIO), Ezra Perlman and Deep Shah (Co-Presidents), Tom Ludwig (COO)|
|AUM||$12 billion (2019)|
Number of employees
Francisco Partners was founded in August 1999 in Menlo Park, California, during the emergence of dedicated technology buyout firms. Founders Sanford Robertson, Dipanjan Deb, David Stanton, Benjamin Ball, and Neil Garfinkel came from a variety of private equity firms. Robertson had been the founder of the technology-focused investment bank Robertson Stephens, while Deb left TPG Capital in August 1999 to help found the firm. Among its notable early investments, in 2000 the firm paid $375 million in cash to purchase 90% of Advanced Micro Devices' communications products division. Francisco Partners then raised $800 million in 2002 to purchase 90% of Global eXchange Services, a unit of the General Electric Company handling sales operations for about 30,000 multinational companies.
The firm purchased NPTest in 2003, the semiconductor-testing unit of Schlumberger, and by the following year Francisco Partners had more than 30 active portfolio companies. Francisco Partners purchased Smart Modular from the Solectron Corporation in 2004, with Smart Modular going public two years later. From 2005 until 2010 the firm owned the software company RedPrairie. In 2006 the company led a leveraged buyout of Metrologic Instruments, which makes laser and holographic-based scanners, and also purchased WatchGuard. The firm purchased API Healthcare in 2008 and by 2010 Francisco Partners' other healthcare holdings included AdvancedMD, Healthland, QuadraMed, and T-System.
By 2012, the Francisco Partners' funds had about $7 billion in capital and invested "exclusively in technology companies across sectors including semiconductors, capital equipment and electronics components." That year the company acquired the software company Ichor from American Industrial Partners, as well as Plex Systems and Kewill. The firm invested in Paymetric in 2013, selling the company to Vantiv in Atlanta, Georgia four years later. After acquiring the e-commerce services company Avangate in 2013, in 2014 the firm invested in the software company Prosper, with Francisco Partners' executive David Golob becoming a Prosper director. Also in 2014 Francisco Partners invested in the information technology company CoverMyMeds and paid $120 million for a majority stake in the controversial spy company NSO Group, sold in 2019. The firm completed raising about $2.9 billion for its fourth fund in 2015. That year the firm also purchased the California-based analytics company Procera Networks for $240 million and the Israeli workplace management company ClickSoftware Technologies for $438 million. The firm invested in GoodRx in 2015 as well.
Francisco joined with Elliott Management in June 2016 to buy the SonicWall and Quest Software subsidiaries from Dell as part of the spinoff of Dell Software. The SonicWall investment attracted some controversy in the press, as Francisco Partners had also invested in the competitor WatchGuard, going against norms in the private equity industry. Also in 2016, the firm sold Aesynt to Omnicell for $275 million and took Ichor Holdings public with an initial public offering. In late 2016, Francisco Partners launched its Agility fund, raising approximately $600 million of committed capital to focus on smaller technology deals. Shortly afterwards, Francisco Partners invested in Dynamo Software, Pet Circle, Discovery Education, and MyOn, the latter of which was sold in 2018. Additional investments in 2016 and 2017 included companies such as SmartBear Software, iconectiv, Connecture Inc., Betterment, and Sintec Media.
In 2017, Francisco Partners sold CoverMyMeds to McKesson and Paymetric to Vantiv, and also sold PayLease and Corsair. Francisco Partners bought, and subsequently sold, James Allen.com in 2017. In June 2017, Francisco Partners also acquired Sandvine, a Canadian public company that was combined with Procera. Francisco Partners was named Private Equity Firm of the Year by Mergers & Acquisitions in 2017. The firm's fifth fund, Francisco Partners V, was formed at the end of 2017 with approximately $4 billion of committed capital. The year after Francisco Partners V's launch, the firm acquired Bomgar Corporation, Renaissance Learning, and LegalZoom. In June 2018 Francisco Partners purchased VeriFone for $3.4 billion. Also in 2018, Blackstone’s Strategic Capital Group and Goldman Sachs’ Petershill program acquired a minority stake in Francisco Partners.
Francisco Partners specializes in financing divisional buyouts, "take privates" of public companies, sponsored mergers and acquisitions, growth equity financing, recapitalizations, and restructurings. The firm primarily invests in maturing or mature technology and technology-related companies in areas such as software, internet, healthcare, communications, hardware and technology services. The firm typically acquires a majority or controlling stake in its portfolio companies, but will occasionally acquire a minority interest in a company with board representation. Specializing in technology buyouts, Francisco has acquired former venture capital-backed companies as well as many divisions of large conglomerates and IT companies worldwide.
Offices and employeesEdit
The firm is based in San Francisco, California with an additional office in London, United Kingdom. Francisco Partners is currently led by CEO Dipanjan Deb, one of the firm's founders, along with Ezra Perlman and Deep Shah, co-presidents, and David Golob, chief investment officer.
List of current investmentsEdit
With around 50 current portfolio companies, Francisco Partners is an investor in or owner of the following companies:
- 2checkout (formerly Avangate)
- Allston Trading
- Avalon Healthcare Solutions
- BluJay Solutions
- Bomgar Corporation
- ClickSoftware Technologies
- Discovery Education
- Legal Zoom
- Metaswitch Networks
- Perforce (50% ownership)
- Pet Circle
- Plex Systems
- Prometheus Group
- Quest Software
- Redis Labs
- Sandvine (formerly Procera)
- SmartBear Software
- Verifone, Inc.
- Francisco Partners (March 29, 2019). "Form ADV - Uniform Application for Investment Adviser Registration and Report by Exempt Reporting Advisers" (PDF). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. p. 9 (Item 5D(f)). Retrieved April 27, 2019.
- Francisco Partners (March 29, 2019). "Form ADV - Uniform Application for Investment Adviser Registration and Report by Exempt Reporting Advisers" (PDF). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. p. 8 (Item 5A). Retrieved April 27, 2019.
- Suttell, Scott (November 9, 2014), CoverMyMeds receives 'growth investment' from California-based FranciscoPartners, Crain's Cleveland Business
- Thomas Fox-Brewster (August 25, 2016). "Everything We Know About NSO Group: The Professional Spies Who Hacked iPhones With A Single Text".
- "Francisco Partners - About". www.franciscopartners.com. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
- Porter, Kiel (May 22, 2017), Francisco Said to Target More Than $3 Billion for Tech Buyouts, Bloomberg
- "Investments". Francisco Partners. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- "Francisco Partners to Take VeriFone Private for $3.4 Billion". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
- Chen, Angela (30 April 2015). "ClickSoftware to Be Bought by Francisco Partners for $438 Million". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- Martin, Dylan. "Boston Startups That Were Acquired or Shut Down in May". BostInno. BostInno. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
- Gillian Tan (July 12, 2016). "How's This for a Private Equity Conflict?".
- Company Overview of Francisco Partners Management LLC, Bloomberg
- "You ain't seen nothing yet". EDN Network. January 1, 2000. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Executive Team, FranciscoPartners.com
- "Company News; Advanced Micro to Sell Most of Communications Unit". New York Times. May 23, 2000. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Deutsch, Claudia (June 25, 2002). "G.E. Is Selling Off Most of Electronic Commerce Business". New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- "Citing a Tight Bond Market, G.E. Makes a Loan to a Buyer". New York Times. September 28, 2002. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Company News; Schlumberger to Sell Semiconductor-Testing Unit, Bloomberg, June 25, 2003
- Rivlin, Gary (May 15, 2004). "Bring Us Your Small, Unloved Start-Ups". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Smart Modular Technologies in $645 Million Buyout, The New York Times, April 26, 2011
- Bolton, Guy (August 14, 2010), Firm's tracking software attracted new CEO, Journal Sentinel
- Francisco Partners to Lead Metrologic Buyout, The New York Times, September 13, 2006
- Xavier, Jon (October 25, 2010), PE firm buys Quantros majority, Silicon Valley Business Journal
- UPDATE 1-PE firm Francisco Partners to buy Kewill for 89.5 mln stg, Reuters, May 2, 2012
- Siemers, Erik (January 5, 2012), Francisco Partners acquires Tualatin's Ichor Systems, Portland Business Journal
- Empson, Rip (December 18, 2012), Plex Systems Lands $30M From Accel To Help Global Manufacturing Transition To The Cloud, TechCrunch
- Wembridge, Mark (May 2, 2012). "Kewill agrees to US private equity buyout". Financial Times. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Karkaria, Urvaksh (August 28, 2013), San Francisco Partners Takes Majority, Atlanta Business Chronicle
- Hudson, Phil W. (April 26, 2017), Francisco Partners backed Atlanta tech company Paymetric to be acquired by Vantiv, Atlanta Business Chronicle
- Lara-Cinisomo, Vincent (October 7, 2013), Francisco Partners acquires Avangate, Silicon Valley Business Journal
- J. de la Merced, Michael (May 4, 2014), Prosper, a Peer-to-Peer Lender, Raises $70 Million, The New York Times
- "Secretive cyber warfare firm NSO Group explores sale: sources". Reuters. November 2, 2015.
- Yadron, Danny (August 1, 2014). "Can This Israeli Startup Hack Your Phone?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
- Term Sheet -- Thursday, October 8, Fortune, October 8, 2015
- "Francisco Partners earns Private Equity Firm of the Year". Mergers & Acquisitions. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
- "Francisco Partners and Elliott Management to Acquire the Dell Software Group". DELL. 20 June 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- Francisco Partners to sell Aesynt for $275m. Pitchbook, November 2, 2015
- Term Sheet -- Monday, October 24, Francisco Partners, October 24, 2016
- Term Sheet -- Tuesday, October 3, Fortune, October 3, 2017
- Term Sheet -- Tuesday, November 14, Fortune, November 14, 2017
- Discovery to shed education business for $120M as it prepares to leave Silver Spring, Washington Business Journal, February 27, 2018
- Renaissance Learning Turns the Page with Purchase of Minnesota Firm, Xconomy, March 22, 2018
- UPDATE 1-Ericsson says Francisco Partners to invest $200 mln in iconectiv, Reuters, March 7, 2017
- Kirchen, Rich (March 14, 2016), Connecture receives $52M investment from Francisco Partners-led group, Milwaukee Business Journal
- Chparro, Frank (July 21, 2017), Betterment just landed an $800 million valuation, Business Insider
- Columbus-based CoverMyMeds to be acquired by McKesson for $1.1 billion, Cleveland.com, March 1, 2018
- Francisco Partners backed Atlanta tech company Paymetric to be acquired by Vantiv, Atlanta Business Chronicle, April 26, 2017
- Vista Equity Partners Invests in Paylease, San Diego Business Journal, July 3, 2017
- Term Sheet -- Wednesday, July 26, Fortune, July 26, 2017
- Signet Buys James Allen; Comp Sales Rise, jckonline.com, August 24, 2017
- Pender, Terry (2017-07-17). "Sandvine accepts $562M takeover bid". TheRecord.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
- Goldman, Blackstone Buy Minority Stake in Francisco Partners, Bloomberg, July 13, 2018
- Term Sheet -- Tuesday, April 3, Fortune, April 3, 2018
- Renaissance Learning to Get New Private Equity Owner, Change CEOs, Xconomy, May 4, 2018
- LegalZoom reaches $2 billion valuation, L.A. Biz
- "Francisco Partners Announces Acquisition of Comodo’s Certificate Authority (SSL) Business". www.businesswire.com. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- "Francisco Partners, Clearlake link on Perforce deal". pitchbook.com. 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
- Wiggers, Kyle (2019-02-19). "Redis Labs raises $60 million for its NoSQL database". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2019-03-02.