AirWatch raises $200m to propel growth

Contact: Ben Kolada, Chris Hazelton

AirWatch, considered one of the largest mobile device management (MDM) vendors, has raised $200m in its first round of outside funding. Insight Venture Partners led the round. This round of funding will build on several hundred million dollars the company has already invested in its MDM products and now-growing focus on mobile application deployment and management.

Terms of the investment weren’t disclosed, but we’re told the funding round values AirWatch at a whopping $1bn, which no doubt restricts its options in terms of an exit. The largest MDM acquisition we’ve seen so far was Citrix’s takeout of Zenprise for $327m. Zenprise had raised a total of $79m.

The investment will be used to increase staff in Asia as the company looks to build on 2012 revenue of nearly $100m, expanding on earlier international growth. Specifically, AirWatch says the funding will be used for product development and strategic M&A. The latter is particularly noteworthy, since the company has so far focused solely on organic growth, and hasn’t announced a single acquisition since its founding in 2003.

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What’s a Smarsh to do?

Contact: Ben Kolada

Depending on which way the bidding goes for systems management vendor Quest Software, Smarsh’s future could change considerably. The compliance-focused archiving startup announced in February that it sold a majority of its equity to Quest, just three weeks before its newfound parent became the center of an ongoing bidding war. But one side’s plans for Quest post-close may not include Smarsh.

After the closing bell Tuesday, Vector Capital joined Insight Venture Partners and Quest’s management in announcing that they had increased their offer for Quest to $25.75 per share, for a total deal value of about $2.24bn by our calculations. The revised bid tops a competing offer from an unidentified suitor – widely believed to be Dell – that was announced last week.

While all eyes are on Quest at the moment, the continued bidding casts a shadow over who will ultimately own Smarsh. Right now, the company is seen as more of a Quest investment rather than an operating business unit.

If Insight and the rest ultimately win Quest, Smarsh could be considered just another portfolio company for the private equity firms. However, if that unidentified bidder is Dell, and Dell ultimately wins, Smarsh could soon be cast off, since Dell already offers archiving products competitive to Smarsh. In 2008, Dell acquired MessageOne – a direct rival to Smarsh – for a whopping $155m. Dell also has its own archive storage system, the DX platform, based on software OEMed from Caringo. (However, we’d note that neither of these initiatives seems to have gone too far yet.)

Rather than worry about would could happen in the future, Smarsh is keeping itself busy in the present. The company has announced two acquisitions in the past month. In May, Smarsh bought Web content-archiving vendor and on Tuesday it announced the purchase of compliance-focused website hoster AdvisorSquare, which targets the finance vertical. The deals should ramp up the company’s growth rate for 2012 and 2013. We estimate that Smarsh generated $20m in revenue last year, or about 30% year-over-year top-line growth.


Date Event
February 14, 2012 Quest Software acquires 60% stake in Smarsh.
March 9 Insight Venture Partners and Quest management offer to buy Quest for $2bn.
May 16 Smarsh picks up
June 14 Unidentified bidder offers approximately $2.22bn for Quest.
June 18 Smarsh acquires AdvisorSquare from Symantec.
June 19 Vector Capital joins Insight and Quest management to buy Quest for approximately $2.24bn.

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase

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