Versata bags Everest

Contact: Brenon Daly

In half of the recent buys by Versata Enterprises, Updata Advisors has worked on behalf of the acquisitive enterprise software provider. In the latest purchase, however, the boutique advisory firm swung to the other side of the desk. On Friday, Versata, the Austin, Texas-based company that used to go by the name Trilogy, picked up Everest Software for an undisclosed sum. (We hear from a source that Everest was running at a bit more than $10m in revenue. However, the vendor’s top line suffered recently because it sold predominantly to retailers, as well as SMB customers – both of which have been hit disproportionately hard by the ongoing recession.)

Since December 2007, Updata has advised Versata on its acquisitions of Nuvo Network Management, TenFold and Evolutionary Technologies International. Switching over to the sell side for Everest is perhaps understandable for Updata because its sister firm – Updata Partners, which does venture investing – had put money into the CRM vendor. Other backers of Everest include Sierra Ventures, Boulder Ventures and Actis Capital. Founded in 1994, Everest had pulled in around $20m in funding.

Incidentally, we would note that in a press release announcing its sale, Everest took the unconventional step of thanking all of its backers. Even though we understand that the investments in Everest didn’t necessarily produce the returns that had been hoped for, it’s nonetheless a classy move by Everest. Too few companies do that. Most executives and investors simply and quietly move on to ‘the new, new thing’ without taking time to acknowledge the money and time that people put into the first venture. So the sale of Everest probably wasn’t a high-dollar deal, but the firm did take the high road.