Black Billionaire’s Investment Firm Buys Leading IT Services Company

Vista Equity Partners, one of the world’s most successful investment firms, founded by black billionaire Robert F. Smith and a BE 100 company ranked No. 1 on the Private Equity Firms list, announced its acquisition of Datto, a leading provider of business data protection solutions.



Vista plans to merge Datto with another IT-services company already in its portfolio, Autotask, as per a press release. The newly merged firm will offer a host of business IT services to managed service providers (MSPs) including backup and disaster recovery; remote network monitoring and management; file sharing; and more.

Although the press release did not disclose any financial details about the acquisition, it revealed that merging Datto and Autotask results in 1,300 employees that service over half-a-million small-to-mid-sized businesses throughout 125 countries.

“We’re thrilled to bring together the complementary skills and world-class service of two global market leaders, Autotask and Datto,” said Brian Sheth, co-founder and president of Vista Equity Partners via a press release.

“Over the past three years, we have worked closely with the Autotask team to accelerate growth and expand its Unified Platform. Bringing Autotask together with Datto’s impressive talent and deep expertise in backup and networking solutions will take us to the next level and deliver extraordinary tools and services to MSPs worldwide.”

“We’re honored to be joining forces with both the world’s premier software investor, Vista Equity Partners, and with Autotask, the provider of the most essential tools for the MSP space,” said Datto’s founder and CEO, Austin McChord. “This unique combination of talent with a track record of success marks a new chapter that will make an even bigger impact for our Managed Service Provider partners, by delivering an unprecedented set of capabilities for them to serve millions of small businesses in the future.”

Mark Cattini, president and CEO of Autotask also spoke favorably about the transaction. “With the powerful combination of the Autotask Unified PSA-RMM platform and Datto’s industry-leading business continuity solutions, together we can now deliver unprecedented innovation and unmatched levels of value and service to our customers and partners worldwide.”

Vista Equity’s founder and CEO Robert F. Smith ranked No. 226 on Forbes’ 400 richest list with a net worth of $3.3 billion.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with corrections. Datto is merging with Autotask, not Autodesk, and the merge will result in 1,300 employees, not 13,000.