Several managed service provider (MSP) companies appear ready for PE funded tuck-ins, platform acquisitions and roll-ups. Key solution offerings in this space include RMM (remote monitoring and management) software, PSA (professional services automation) software, BDR (backup and disaster recovery) and NOC (network operations center).
Massive adoption of cloud-based infrastructure and hosting is driving up the valuation of small- to- medium size MSPs. However, there are several old guards in this space who will need to address obvious gaps in their offerings, such as security software, backup and disaster recovery, as well as app performance.
Given the pace of change in customer adoption, there is a window of about 2-3 years for these "old guards" to acquire tuck-ins or participate in a PE funded roll-up.
Private equity firms have acquired many (though not all) of the large MSP software providers in the SMB market. But the M&A game isn’t over. Indeed, the stakes may be about to go even higher. The big private equity players in the sector — particularly Insight Venture Partners, Thoma Bravo and Vista Equity Partners, among others — are plotting their next moves. The graph below shows what those PE firms own so far, and hints a potential synergies between the MSP software and security markets.