Vista Equity Partners

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Vista Equity Partners is a private equity firm focused on software and technology-enabled businesses. The firm was founded in 2000 and has offices in Austin, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, and San Francisco, California.[1]


Vista Equity Partners was founded in 2000 by Robert F. Smith and Brian Sheth. Prior to founding Vista Equity, Smith was the co-head of the enterprise systems and storage sector for Goldman Sachs' investment banking division. Smith also served as the business unit manager for Goldman’s mergers and acquisitions group.[2] Brian Sheth also worked in Mergers and Acquisitions at Goldman, Sachs & Co. The two were later joined by Jamie Ford, also from mergers and acquisitions at Goldman, as the firm's COO. By 2013, the firm listed 11 principals.[3]

Vista made investments in BigMachines starting January 2001.[4] Additional investments were made through 2012,[5] until BigMachines was sold to Oracle Corporation in October 2013.[6][7]

DataCore Software was another early investment in 2001.[8] Principal Martin Taylor joined in December 2006 after leaving Microsoft without explanation.[9][10] Vista agreed to acquire SumTotal Systems in May 2009 for about $160 million, which closed in July.[11][12] Vista also acquired the finance-related software business MicroEdge from Advent Software for $30 million, in July 2009.[13][14]

In May 2013 Vista announced it would acquire Websense (public since 2000) for an estimated $906 million.[15] The deal closed June 25 for about $1 billion.[16][17] In the same month, Vista acquired Boston-based recruitment firm Bullhorn, Inc. for a reported price of several hundred million dollars.[18][19] In July 2013 New Jersey agreed to commit $100 million to a Vista fund, three months after Christine Pastore resigned from that state's investment program to become vice president of investor relations.[20] In September 2013 a new round of funding[21] and a bid of over $1 billion was announced for Active Network, Inc, which runs event registration web sites.[22][23] Vista has since acquired Lanyon, Inc., a software company based out Dallas, TX, with whom they merged a portion of Active Network's Business Solutions Group (BSG).[24]

In September 2014, Vista announced that Microedge will be sold to Blackbaud, Inc. for $160 million in the 4th quarter of 2014.[25]

In September 2014, Vista announced it was seeking buyers for its financial software providing firm Misys. Vista also announced at the time that it was considering an initial public offering.[26]

Vista Equity Partners revealed in September 2014 that it would acquire Tibco Software for $4.3 billion.[27]


  1. "Vista Equity Partners". Crunchbase. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  2. GAMING CORP "Robert Smith: Executive Profile". Businessweek. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  3. "Vista Equity Partners Team". Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  4. Melanie Austria Farmer (March 19, 2001). "BigMachines reels in $29 million". CNET news. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  5. "BigMachines Secures Additional Growth Investment". Press release (BigMachines, Inc). September 17, 201. Retrieved October 31, 2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. "Oracle and BigMachines". Oracle web page. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  7. Julie Bort (October 23, 2013). "Source: Oracle Paid Over $400 Million For BigMachines To Grab More Salesforce Customers". Business Insider. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  8. Dawn Kawamoto (November 2, 2001). "DataCore raises more than $30 million". CNet news. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  9. Dudley Brier (April 11, 2005). "Plugged in to Microsoft's biggest rival". Seattle Times. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  10. Dudley Brier (April 23, 2007). "Martin Taylor update: he's working with another Vista". Seattle Times blog. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  11. "SumTotal Chooses Rival Bid From Vista". Dealbook (The New York Times). May 27, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  12. SumTotal (July 24, 2009). "Deregistration of Securities". Form S-3. US Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  13. "US private equity firm Vista Equity Partners pays $30m for finance-related software business MicroEdge". AltAssets. July 30, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  14. "Advent Software Enters Into Definitive Agreement for Sale of MicroEdge Subsidiary to Vista Equity Partners". July 28, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  15. Jolie O'Dell (May 20, 2013). "Websense, publicly traded since 2000, goes private in $906M buyout". Venture Beat. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  16. Steven E.F. Brown (June 25, 2013). "Vista Equity Partners wraps up acquisition of Websense". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  17. Sharon Terlep and Dana Cimilluca (May 20, 2013). "Vista Equity Partners to Buy Websense". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  18. Ingrid Lunden (June 14, 2013). "Software Recruitment Giant Bullhorn Acquired By Vista Equity Partners For A Price In The Lower Nine Figures". Tech Crunch. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  19. Kyle Alspach (June 14, 2013). "Bullhorn acquired by private equity firm for 9 figures; IPO still a goal". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  20. Hillary Canada (July 17, 2013). "New Jersey Commits $100M to Vista Equity Partners". LBO Wire. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  21. Sonja Cheung (September 23, 2013). "Vista Raising Plethora of New Funds". LBO Wire. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  22. Hillary Canada (May 20, 2013). "Vista Equity Strikes Another $1 Billion Take-Private Deal". Money Beat (Wall Street Journal). Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  23. "Vista Equity Partners to acquire Active Network". San Francisco Chronicle. September 30, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  25. "MicroEdge Enters into Agreement of Sale with Blackbaud, Inc.". Microedge. 09/02/2014. Retrieved 09/02/2014. Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  26. "PE firm Vista puts Misys on the block" (Press release). Reuters. 29 September 2014.
  27. Vista Equity to buy Tibco Software for $4.3 billion. Reuters, 29 September 2014