Bridge Growth closes debut fund, names chairman

The growth-oriented firm raised $410m after fundraising for about three years.

Growth-oriented firm Bridge Growth Partners has held a final close for its debut funds, Bridge Growth Partners and Bridge Growth Partners (Parallel), on $410 million, the firm said in a statement.

The main fund, along with the separate parallel vehicle, received commitments from insurers, family offices, high-net-worth individuals, and other institutional investors.

A source familiar with the matter told Private Equity International the fund began raising capital in the second-half of 2013, and held a first close on $250 million in June 2014. Bridge Growth started fundraising with a “larger target” but pivoted to focus on the lower mid-market, where it found more opportunities, the source said, adding that the firm was more focused on finding good investments than on fundraising.

The firm declined to comment.

The source also said Bridge Growth’s funds will invest between $75 million and $125 million of equity per deal.

The most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings related to the vehicles, which were posted in January, indicated that a total of 56 investors had committed $310.9 million to the two funds at the time. They also listed Evercore as the placement agent.

Bridge Growth, which invests in the technology and tech-enabled financial services sectors, was founded in 2013 by Vestar Capital Partners founder Sander Levy, former New Mountain Capital managing director Alok Singh, and software company Deltek chief executive Kevin Parker.

It has participated in three investments worth a total of $330 million so far, with the debut fund contributing $200 million and the remainder coming from co-investors, according to the source. 

In November 2014, it acquired software, data analytics, and cybersecurity service provider CRGT. Earlier this year, it bought a majority stake in infrastructure messaging technology provider Solace Systems, and last month, IT acquired Finalsite, which provides a software learning platform for K-12 grades.

The source said the firm will probably make one or two more investments soon.

At the same time of the final closing, Bridge Growth named Joseph Tucci its chairman.

Tucci had been a member of Bridge Growth’s investment committee and advisory board since inception. Previously he was the chief executive, chairman, and president of data storage company EMC, until last month, when Dell, MSD Partners, and Silver Lake finalised their acquisition of the company. As a result of the EMC sale, Tucci also serves as an advisor to Dell founder Michael Dell, whose family money is managed by MSD Partners.

Prior to joining EMC, Tucci was the chairman and CEO of IT consulting services firm Wang Global, where he met Bridge Growth managing principal Alok Singh. Earlier in his career, Tucci was president of US information systems company Unisys, and a systems engineer at electronics company RCA.