PE Firm Vista Buys Majority Stake In Atlanta Software Startup Salesloft

Vista Equity CEO Robert Smith
Vista Equity CEO Robert Smith

Vista Equity Partners, a major tech-focused private equity firm, is buying a majority stake in Salesloft, an Atlanta-based software startup that makes enterprise sales engagement software. Both parties didn’t disclose the deal’s financial terms, but the Wall Street Journal says it values Salesloft at $2.3bn, implying Vista will spend at least $1.1bn for a majority stake.

  • Vista is one of the biggest private equity firms focusing on investing in the tech industry. It has over $80bn of assets under management.

Salesloft is a sales engagement platform used by enterprise sales staff to carry out their functions. It’s based in Atlanta, a city with a significant tech hub but not on the scale of prominent locales like San Francisco and New York. This exit at a $2.3bn valuation is one of the biggest in Atlanta’s tech scene.

Before now,  Salesloft had raised $245mn from VCs, including Owl Rock Capital, Insight Partners, and Endeavor Catalyst. Microsoft’s LinkedIn is also an investor. Salesloft’s last funding round was in January when it raised $100mn at a $1.1bn valuation.

Salesloft has around 4,000 enterprise customers, including Alphabet, LinkedIn, and Shopify. The company said it surpassed $100mn in annual recurring revenue this year.

  • Vista’s Salesloft investment comes just as the PE firm is reportedly raising a new fund of around $20bn, a record for the firm. In context, $20bn represents about 25% of Vista’s current assets under management.

 

  • 2020-21 were spectacular years for capital controllers, and the spoils are going around. For example, the average PE fund size raised in this year’s first quarter was $771mn, compared to $649mn last year. Blue-chip firms like Vista are even reaping more rewards, so it’s no surprise the firm is reportedly raising its largest fund yet.

Vista is a prolific investor in the tech industry, but it’s not without its black spots. Last year, its founder and chief executive Robert Smith admitted to tax fraud and paid a $139mn penalty to avoid prosecution.

 

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