Vista Equity Partners

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Vista Equity Partners
Industry Private equity, Software
Founded 2000
Headquarters San Francisco, California, USA
Number of locations
Key people
Robert F. Smith, Founder
Brian Sheth, Co-founder
Number of employees

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]

In June 2015, Vista Equity Partners acquired Student Information System assets from Pearson, including PowerSchool, the largest K-12 student information system (SIS), supporting 15 million students in 73 countries.[28]


  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. 
  24. ^ "Active Network Business Solutions Merges with Lanyon". Meetings & Conventions. February 21, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  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
  28. ^ "Pearson to sell PowerSchool to Vista Equity Partners". 2015-06-17. Retrieved 2015-06-23.