United States-based private equity firm Great Hill Partners has acquired a majority stake in Auvik Networks as the Waterloo-based startup looks to develop its international go-to-market strategy.
Auvik secured $312 million CAD ($250 million USD) from Great Hill, which has also invested in the likes of Wayfair. Auvik CEO Marc Morin told BetaKit some of the startup’s older investors were bought out, though did not disclose the investors or the amount of secondary capital in the deal.
“We have been growing quite aggressively and have some ambitious plans going forward in terms of expanding.”
Auvik will use its recent financing to thoughtfully build its go-to-market strategy outside of the United States (US) and Canada.
Auvik has developed cloud-based network management software that gives IT teams and managed service providers (MSPs) insight into client networks as well as visibility and control over network infrastructures like switches, routers, and firewalls. Auvik’s platform also automates tasks associated with monitoring.
While Auvik has been heavily focused on growing market share in the US and North America, the startup has also garnered customers on a global scale. It currently manages four million devices in roughly 50,000 networks, spanning 50 countries. To support a global client list, Auvik has grown its employee base to more than 200 people.
“We have been growing quite aggressively and have some ambitious plans going forward in terms of expanding our product [and] expanding our go-to-market motion,” said Morin, who noted Auvik was looking to bring on a partner like Great Hill to support the company in its next phase of growth.
That next phase is partially focused on more thoughtful geographic expansion. Morin claimed Auvik’s international customer growth has been mainly organic, to date. Now, the company is targeting Indian and Asian markets and looking to provide locally-based customer support to fuel its growth.
Prior to securing the $312 million from Great Hill, Auvik had raised just over $50 million CAD total, with backing from Rho Canada Ventures, Celtic House Venture Partners, and BDC Capital, among others. That total includes an undisclosed inside round raised last year as Auvik adjusted to the realities of doing business amid COVID-19.
Amid the pandemic, Auvik saw demand continue for its network software as IT teams were still required to manage company networks. Morin said one trend he’s seen over the past year is IT teams needing to ensure they can continue servicing and monitoring networks remotely. Given this, Auvik plans to use a portion of its newfound capital to develop additional products that address all aspects of cloud-based and remote network infrastructure.
“The SaaS-ification of everything is really affecting everything, including IT,” the CEO said. “Every company of every size is reevaluating, ‘what does IT mean to me now when my teams don’t manage my own servers, they don’t install software, they don’t write their own software?’ [IT teams] are really integrators of a portfolio of SaaS applications that the company is using and they need different tools to be effective there. And, that’s really where we want to be leaders in the new space.”
To that end, Auvik plans to increase its acquisition activity given its recent financing. To date, Auvik has acquired one company, Barcelona-based Talaia, which offered network traffic analytics tech. Morin called the deal a product acquisition and expressed plans to make similar deals to further Auvik’s offerings.
Auvik is also looking to work with larger organizations after spending the last 10 years more focused on MSP, which typically serves small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The company now has its sights set on increasing its in-house IT team customer base, which tends to serve companies between 100 to 1,000 employees.
“Auvik has a truly innovative approach to ITOps [IT operations] and has developed powerful software that IT teams not only enjoy using, but is essential to their operations,” said Drew Loucks, a managing director at Great Hill Partners. “We have been very impressed with the company’s customer satisfaction rating and reputation and we believe the team is well-positioned to capture a significant portion of the evolving market moving forward.”
“We have an aggressive growth target and we want to be a dominant provider in the IT space, and that market is huge,” said Morin. “We’re gonna be a huge company.”
Images courtesy Auvik