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Kaseya acquisition leads to merger with Unitrends

Kaseya's acquisition of Unitrends links remote monitoring and management, professional services automation, and backup and recovery services for midmarket enterprises and MSPs.

In a deal a year in the making, IT management provider Kaseya has acquired backup and recovery vendor Unitrends.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the Kaseya acquisition, which they are calling a merger.

Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola said Unitrends will run as an independent company inside Kaseya. Voccola said the Kaseya acquisition was made easier because private equity and venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners (IVP) owns both companies.

"They've been very supportive of it," Voccola said of IVP. "It made it a more fluid transition."

Through the mutual investor, the two companies got to know each other and work together, Unitrends CEO Paul Brady said.

"We're cousins," Brady said. "But at the end of the day, it had to make good business sense."

A suite of technologies

The two companies saw synergies where they could help each other technology-wise and improve each other's customer bases, Brady said.

The Kaseya acquisition, which closed at the end of the first quarter, brings together a suite of technologies under one roof for the companies' target markets of midmarket enterprises and managed service providers (MSPs). Those technologies include remote monitoring and management (RMM), endpoint management, network monitoring and management, professional services automation, security, and backup and disaster recovery.

Kaseya CEO Fred VoccolaFred Voccola

Kaseya and Unitrends already had an OEM deal, resulting in the Kaseya Unified Backup appliance-based platform for MSPs. That uses Unitrends technology, and combines backup, ransomware detection and cloud-based BC/DR. It's integrated with Kaseya's flagship RMM software, VSA.

Voccola said that when he and Brady started to put that deal together about a year ago, they thought about combining the companies. When the OEM deal became a success, they decided to work on a Kaseya acquisition of Unitrends.

The OEM deal turned out to be a kind of test run for the two companies.

"We've worked all the kinks out," Voccola said.

Kaseya also has an OEM deal with backup and recovery vendor Acronis, which Voccola said will remain.

The Kaseya acquisition is similar to the 2017 merger of IT management provider Autotask and data protection vendor Datto. Vista Equity Partners, which owned Autotask, acquired Datto and the merger created a company that includes professional services automation, backup and disaster recovery, networking continuity, file sync and share and RMM.

Brady said what sets the Kaseya and Unitrends merger apart is an integrated cloud, a ransomware detection capability and the ability to rapidly deploy.

Opportunities for Kaseya and Unitrends

Brady said Unitrends is looking to increase its presence within MSPs and saw a perfect fit in Kaseya, a leader in the area. The companies will figure out how best to evolve the Kaseya Unified Backup and Unitrends MSP products together.

Kaseya and Unitrends claim more than 10,000 customers each. While about 90% of Unitrends customers are in North America, 40% to 45% of Kaseya customers are outside of the continent.

At the end of the day, it had to make good business sense.
Paul BradyCEO, Unitrends

"They're stronger internationally, so that's another area where they could help us," Brady said.

Kaseya has about 650 employees and Unitrends has more than 250. Both CEOs and management teams will remain intact, and Voccola and Brady said there will be no layoffs following the Kaseya acquisition.

"The reason for [the merger] is growth, not cost-cutting," Voccola said.

Unitrends plans to increase its workforce and will continue to operate out of its Burlington, Mass., headquarters. Kaseya's headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland.

Kaseya and Unitrends will retain their respective brands, and both companies remain a part of the IVP portfolio.

IVP has invested in several data protection vendors, including Veeam Software, which Unitrends recently targeted with its VMware backup product, VM Backup Essentials. Brady said he had no comment on having the same investor as Veeam.

Unitrends is not the first Kaseya acquisition, and Voccola said it will not be the last. In recent years Kaseya acquired several companies, including Unigma cloud management and Scorpion security software. Voccola said he wants to make acquisitions in the areas of security, compliance and software-as-a-service management.

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