Francisco Partners

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Francisco Partners
IndustryPrivate equity
Founded1999; 21 years ago (1999)
FoundersDipanjan Deb, Benjamin Ball, Neil Garfinkel, Sanford R. "Sandy" Robertson, David Stanton
Key people
Dipanjan Deb (CEO), David Golob (CIO), Ezra Perlman and Deep Shah (Co-Presidents), Tom Ludwig (COO)
AUM$12 billion (2019)[1]
Number of employees
80[2] (2019)

Francisco Partners is an American private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses.[3] Founded in August 1999 and based in San Francisco and London, Francisco Partners Management L.P.[4] has raised approximately USD $14 billion in committed capital.[5] The firm currently has five active funds[5][6] and roughly 50 current portfolio companies,[7] including Verifone,[8] Renaissance Learning, Bomgar, GoodRx, Quest, BluJay (formerly Kewill),[7] ClickSoftware Technologies,[9] SmartBear Software,[10] and SonicWall.[11]



Francisco Partners was founded in August 1999[12] in Menlo Park, California, during the emergence of dedicated technology buyout firms.[13] 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[14] left TPG Capital in August 1999 to help found the firm.[13] Among its notable early investments, in 2000 the firm paid $375 million in cash to purchase 90% of Advanced Micro Devices' communications products division.[15] Francisco Partners then raised $800 million in 2002 to purchase 90% of Global eXchange Services, a unit of the General Electric Company[16][17] handling sales operations for about 30,000 multinational companies.[16]

The firm purchased NPTest in 2003, the semiconductor-testing unit of Schlumberger,[18] and by the following year Francisco Partners had more than 30 active portfolio companies.[19] Francisco Partners purchased Smart Modular from the Solectron Corporation in 2004, with Smart Modular going public two years later.[20] From 2005 until 2010 the firm owned the software company RedPrairie.[21] In 2006 the company led a leveraged buyout of Metrologic Instruments, which makes laser and holographic-based scanners,[22] and also purchased WatchGuard.[11] The firm purchased API Healthcare in 2008[21] and by 2010 Francisco Partners' other healthcare holdings included AdvancedMD, Healthland, QuadraMed, and T-System.[23]


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."[24] That year the company acquired the software company Ichor from American Industrial Partners,[25] as well as Plex Systems[26] and Kewill.[27] The firm invested in Paymetric in 2013,[28] selling the company to Vantiv in Atlanta, Georgia four years later.[29] After acquiring the e-commerce services company Avangate in 2013,[30] in 2014 the firm invested in the software company Prosper, with Francisco Partners' executive David Golob becoming a Prosper director.[31] Also in 2014 Francisco Partners invested in the information technology company CoverMyMeds[3] and paid $120 million for a majority stake[32][33] in the controversial spy company NSO Group,[4][32] sold in 2019.[34] The firm completed raising about $2.9 billion for its fourth fund in 2015.[6] 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.[9] The firm invested in GoodRx in 2015 as well.[35]


Francisco joined with Elliott Management in June 2016 to buy the SonicWall[11] and Quest Software[36] subsidiaries from Dell as part of the spinoff of Dell Software.[11][37] 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.[11] Also in 2016, the firm sold Aesynt to Omnicell for $275 million and took Ichor Holdings public with an initial public offering.[36][38] In late 2016, Francisco Partners launched its Agility fund, raising approximately $600 million of committed capital to focus on smaller technology deals.[39] Shortly afterwards, Francisco Partners invested in Dynamo Software,[40] Pet Circle,[41] Discovery Education,[42] and MyOn, the latter of which was sold in 2018.[43] Additional investments in 2016 and 2017 included companies such as SmartBear Software,[10] iconectiv,[44] Connecture Inc.,[45] Betterment,[46] and Sintec Media.[36]

In 2017, Francisco Partners sold CoverMyMeds to McKesson[47] and Paymetric to Vantiv,[48] and also sold PayLease[49] and Corsair.[50] Francisco Partners bought, and subsequently sold, James in 2017.[51] In June 2017, Francisco Partners also acquired Sandvine, a Canadian public company that was combined with Procera.[52] Francisco Partners was named Private Equity Firm of the Year by Mergers & Acquisitions in 2017.[36] The firm's fifth fund, Francisco Partners V, was formed at the end of 2017 with approximately $4 billion of committed capital.[53] The year after Francisco Partners V's launch, the firm acquired Bomgar Corporation,[54] Renaissance Learning,[55] and LegalZoom.[56] In June 2018 Francisco Partners purchased VeriFone[8] for $3.4 billion. Also in 2018, Blackstone’s Strategic Capital Group and Goldman Sachs’ Petershill program acquired a minority stake in Francisco Partners.[53]

Business model[edit]

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[12] technology and technology-related companies[6] in areas such as software, internet,[9] 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.[12] Specializing in technology buyouts, Francisco has acquired former venture capital-backed companies as well as many divisions of large conglomerates and IT companies worldwide.[19]

Offices and employees[edit]

The firm is based in San Francisco, California with an additional office in London, United Kingdom.[4][12] Francisco Partners is currently led by CEO Dipanjan Deb, one of the firm's founders,[6] along with Ezra Perlman and Deep Shah, co-presidents, and David Golob, chief investment officer.[14]

List of current investments[edit]

With over 100 current portfolio companies, Francisco Partners is an investor in or owner of the following companies:[7]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b Suttell, Scott (November 9, 2014), CoverMyMeds receives 'growth investment' from California-based FranciscoPartners, Crain's Cleveland Business
  4. ^ a b c Thomas Fox-Brewster (August 25, 2016). "Everything We Know About NSO Group: The Professional Spies Who Hacked iPhones With A Single Text".
  5. ^ a b "Francisco Partners - About". Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  6. ^ a b c d e Porter, Kiel (May 22, 2017), Francisco Said to Target More Than $3 Billion for Tech Buyouts, Bloomberg
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as "Investments". Francisco Partners. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  8. ^ a b c "Francisco Partners to Take VeriFone Private for $3.4 Billion". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  9. ^ a b c d Chen, Angela (30 April 2015). "ClickSoftware to Be Bought by Francisco Partners for $438 Million". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  10. ^ a b c Martin, Dylan. "Boston Startups That Were Acquired or Shut Down in May". BostInno. BostInno. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Gillian Tan (July 12, 2016). "How's This for a Private Equity Conflict?".
  12. ^ a b c d Company Overview of Francisco Partners Management LLC, Bloomberg
  13. ^ a b "You ain't seen nothing yet". EDN Network. January 1, 2000. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Executive Team,
  15. ^ "Company News; Advanced Micro to Sell Most of Communications Unit". New York Times. May 23, 2000. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Deutsch, Claudia (June 25, 2002). "G.E. Is Selling Off Most of Electronic Commerce Business". New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  17. ^ "Citing a Tight Bond Market, G.E. Makes a Loan to a Buyer". New York Times. September 28, 2002. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  18. ^ Company News; Schlumberger to Sell Semiconductor-Testing Unit, Bloomberg, June 25, 2003
  19. ^ a b Rivlin, Gary (May 15, 2004). "Bring Us Your Small, Unloved Start-Ups". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "Smart Modular Technologies in $645 Million Buyout", The New York Times, April 26, 2011
  21. ^ a b Bolton, Guy (August 14, 2010), Firm's tracking software attracted new CEO, Journal Sentinel
  22. ^ "Francisco Partners to Lead Metrologic Buyout", The New York Times, September 13, 2006
  23. ^ a b Xavier, Jon (October 25, 2010), PE firm buys Quantros majority, Silicon Valley Business Journal
  24. ^ UPDATE 1-PE firm Francisco Partners to buy Kewill for 89.5 mln stg, Reuters, May 2, 2012
  25. ^ Siemers, Erik (January 5, 2012), Francisco Partners acquires Tualatin's Ichor Systems, Portland Business Journal
  26. ^ a b Empson, Rip (December 18, 2012), Plex Systems Lands $30M From Accel To Help Global Manufacturing Transition To The Cloud, TechCrunch
  27. ^ a b Wembridge, Mark (May 2, 2012). "Kewill agrees to US private equity buyout". Financial Times. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  28. ^ Karkaria, Urvaksh (August 28, 2013), San Francisco Partners Takes Majority, Atlanta Business Chronicle
  29. ^ Hudson, Phil W. (April 26, 2017), Francisco Partners backed Atlanta tech company Paymetric to be acquired by Vantiv, Atlanta Business Chronicle
  30. ^ a b Lara-Cinisomo, Vincent (October 7, 2013), Francisco Partners acquires Avangate, Silicon Valley Business Journal
  31. ^ a b J. de la Merced, Michael (May 4, 2014), "Prosper, a Peer-to-Peer Lender, Raises $70 Million", The New York Times
  32. ^ a b "Secretive cyber warfare firm NSO Group explores sale: sources". Reuters. November 2, 2015.
  33. ^ Yadron, Danny (August 1, 2014). "Can This Israeli Startup Hack Your Phone?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  34. ^
  35. ^ Term Sheet -- Thursday, October 8, Fortune, October 8, 2015
  36. ^ a b c d e f g "Francisco Partners earns Private Equity Firm of the Year". Mergers & Acquisitions. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  37. ^ "Francisco Partners and Elliott Management to Acquire the Dell Software Group". DELL. 20 June 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  38. ^ Francisco Partners to sell Aesynt for $275m. Pitchbook, November 2, 2015
  39. ^ Term Sheet -- Monday, October 24, Francisco Partners, October 24, 2016
  40. ^ Term Sheet -- Tuesday, October 3, Fortune, October 3, 2017
  41. ^ Term Sheet -- Tuesday, November 14, Fortune, November 14, 2017
  42. ^ Discovery to shed education business for $120M as it prepares to leave Silver Spring, Washington Business Journal, February 27, 2018
  43. ^ Renaissance Learning Turns the Page with Purchase of Minnesota Firm, Xconomy, March 22, 2018
  44. ^ a b UPDATE 1-Ericsson says Francisco Partners to invest $200 mln in iconectiv, Reuters, March 7, 2017
  45. ^ a b Kirchen, Rich (March 14, 2016), Connecture receives $52M investment from Francisco Partners-led group, Milwaukee Business Journal
  46. ^ a b Chparro, Frank (July 21, 2017), Betterment just landed an $800 million valuation, Business Insider
  47. ^ Columbus-based CoverMyMeds to be acquired by McKesson for $1.1 billion,, March 1, 2018
  48. ^ Francisco Partners backed Atlanta tech company Paymetric to be acquired by Vantiv, Atlanta Business Chronicle, April 26, 2017
  49. ^ Vista Equity Partners Invests in Paylease, San Diego Business Journal, July 3, 2017
  50. ^ Term Sheet -- Wednesday, July 26, Fortune, July 26, 2017
  51. ^ Signet Buys James Allen; Comp Sales Rise,, August 24, 2017
  52. ^ a b Pender, Terry (2017-07-17). "Sandvine accepts $562M takeover bid". Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  53. ^ a b Goldman, Blackstone Buy Minority Stake in Francisco Partners, Bloomberg, July 13, 2018
  54. ^ Term Sheet -- Tuesday, April 3, Fortune, April 3, 2018
  55. ^ Renaissance Learning to Get New Private Equity Owner, Change CEOs, Xconomy, May 4, 2018
  56. ^ LegalZoom reaches $2 billion valuation, L.A. Biz
  57. ^ "Francisco Partners Announces Acquisition of Comodo's Certificate Authority (SSL) Business". Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  58. ^ "LogMeIn, Inc. - LogMeIn Enters into Definitive Agreement to be Acquired by Affiliates of Francisco Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital for $86.05 per Share in Cash". 2019-12-17. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  59. ^ "LogMeIn agrees to be acquired by Francisco Partners and Evergreen for $4.3B". 2019-12-17. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  60. ^ "Francisco Partners, Clearlake link on Perforce deal". 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  61. ^ Wiggers, Kyle (2019-02-19). "Redis Labs raises $60 million for its NoSQL database". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2019-03-02.

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