Francisco Partners’ Acquisition of a majority stake in SmartBear Software


Francisco Partners acquires a majority stake in Willkie client SmartBear Software, the leader in software quality tools for teams.

On May 3, Willkie client SmartBear Software, the leader in software quality tools for teams, announced that private equity firm Francisco Partners has acquired a majority stake in the company. The acquisition by Francisco Partners marks a transition in lead investors from SmartBear’s original 2007 investor, Insight Venture Partners. During Insight’s period of investment, the company grew from a single product company for U/I testing into an industry leader in software quality tools for teams with multiple product lines and over 20,000 customers. SmartBear has been growing at double digit rates for more than five years.

Supporting more than five million software professionals and in 194 countries, Smartbear provides leading products for API testing, UI testing, code review and performance monitoring across mobile, web and desktop applications. Insight Venture Partners is a leading global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth software, SaaS, mobile and internet-enabled companies that are driving transformative change in their industries.

The Willkie deal team was led by partners Gordon Caplan (Picture) and Morgan Elwyn, and included partners Michael Katz, Eugene Chang, Christopher Peters and David Mortlock, and associates Matthew Haddad, Stephanie Moran, Tai Fukumoto, Matthew Makover, Noman Goheer and Rose Ohanesian.

Involved fees earner: Gordon Caplan – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Morgan Elwyn – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Matthew Haddad – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Stephanie Moran – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Michael Katz – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Rose Ohanesian – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Eugene Chang – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Matthew Makover – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Christopher Peters – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; David Mortlock – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Noman Goheer – Willkie Farr & Gallagher;

Law Firms: Willkie Farr & Gallagher;

Clients: SmartBear Software Inc.;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti