Answer 1 Receives Significant Growth Investment from Sunstone Partners

PHOENIX, Oct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Answer 1, LLC, a leading virtual receptionist company serving small and medium sized businesses across the United States, announced today that it has received a significant growth capital investment from Sunstone Partners, a growth equity firm that invests in technology-enabled services and software companies.

Answer 1 supports thousands of clients across a wide spectrum of end markets, providing a comprehensive solution set of receptionist and call center services that increases clients' lead capture rates, reduces costs, and improves brand image.  Answer 1 has nearly tripled in scale since 2015, and this financing marks the first institutional equity capital ever raised by the company. 

Parker Davis, Answer 1's President and Chief Executive Officer, said that this investment marks a critical inflection point for the business. "Over the past year, it has become clear to our management team that the market opportunity available to Answer 1 is vast and, with the right equity partner, we're in a prime position to capitalize on it.  There are approximately 30 million small and medium sized businesses across the United States looking for ways to outsource noncore functions and improve customer experiences."

He added, "We spent approximately six months looking for the right partner, and it was clear to us after meeting Sunstone that we had a common value system and shared perspective on how to build a great business. That is, by investing in our people and technology our company will optimize client outcomes.  I am confident that Sunstone is best suited to help Answer 1 continue and accelerate growth.  We are eager to begin our work together."

Gustavo Alberelli, Managing Director of Sunstone Partners, said, "We are excited to build upon the great foundation that Parker and his team have created at Answer 1.  Small and medium sized businesses have a demonstrable need to focus on core competencies, streamline administrative functions, and improve customer engagement despite continuing growth in communication channels.  Answer 1's comprehensive solution set helps solve those pain points.  We believe Answer 1 is a leader in the virtual receptionist space, and we look forward to helping the company build upon its current service offering and expand its footprint."

The new board of directors will include Gustavo Alberelli and Arneek Multani, Managing Directors at Sunstone Partners, Parker Davis, and Jeff Rich, an Operating Partner at Sunstone Partners.  Previously, Jeff Rich served as CEO of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) where under his direction ACS completed an IPO, grew annual revenues from $300 million to over $5.3 billion, and executed on 84 acquisitions and 12 divestitures.

About Answer 1

For over 30 years, Answer 1 has provided answering and virtual receptionist services to thousands of small businesses across the U.S.  Excellent service and a client first mentality have allowed the business to continually grow its service offering and focus on technological advancements to better serve clients across a wide range of industry verticals. Answer 1 is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, with additional operations in Lake Havasu City, AZ and Richmond, VA.  For more information visit www.answer1.com

About Sunstone Partners

Sunstone Partners is a growth equity firm focused on minority and majority investments in technology-enabled services and software businesses.  The firm seeks to partner with exceptional management teams, often as their first institutional capital partner, to help accelerate growth, fund acquisitions, and provide shareholder liquidity.  Principals at Sunstone Partners have now led new platform investments in more than 50 technology businesses over the past 20 years.  The firm is currently investing out of Sunstone Partners I, a $310 million fund.  For more information visit www.sunstonepartners.com


ProgenyHealth Receives Significant Growth Investment from Sunstone Partners

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Feb. 1, 2018 — ProgenyHealth, the only national company focused exclusively on neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) utilization and case management, announced today that it has received a significant growth investment from Sunstone Partners, a private equity firm that invests in technology enabled services and software companies. Sunstone, which has wide experience in the health care information technology space, will help the company expand its platform and provide strategic advice to guide Progeny through its next stage of growth.

Ellie Stang, MD, ProgenyHealth’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said that this is the first time that her company has received an outside investment since she founded it in 2003.”Our management team has been evaluating various ways to accelerate our growth and decided the time was right to bring on a growth partner.  Neonatal care management is a strong growth segment and one which requires a level of clinical expertise not typically found within payers. We offer comprehensive solutions that have very low upfront costs and have been able to achieve significant improvements in health outcomes.  Our leadership team wanted to capitalize on the growth opportunity before us, and we decided that the best solution was to partner with a healthcare-focused firm that has significant experience with high-growth, tech-enabled healthcare services companies.”

“Sunstone has a strong healthcare background, a great reputation, and a strong understanding of health IT,” she added.  “We’re impressed by their passion for our vision of healthcare, which is doing well by doing good. With our proprietary technology system, our expanding database of tens of thousands of NICU cases and our specialized staff of NICU trained clinicians, we drive better outcomes at a lower cost, while working collaboratively with providers and achieving high levels of member satisfaction. We know there’s a big opportunity to help more families and work with more providers, and Sunstone can help us reach that broader market.”

Arneek Multani, Managing Director of Sunstone Partners, said, “ProgenyHealth fits the profile of companies we invest in well: it is a category leader with a demonstrable value proposition driven by a unique technology.  The market for utilization and case management services for this population continues to grow each year, due to the national opioid epidemic, advances in fertility technology and more women having babies later in life.  We believe Progeny is the leader in this important and growing market, and we look forward to helping the company build on its current service offering and add complementary capabilities over time.  We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Ellie and her team in the company’s next phase of growth.”

ProgenyHealth, which works with both commercial and Medicaid health plans, improves the outcomes of premature and medically complex newborns through provider collaboration and parental engagement. Its team of neonatologists, pediatricians and NICU nurses advise families, not only in the NICU, but for the first year of each infant’s life. Its Baby Trax electronic health record and an associated mobile app connect families and providers to the ProgenyHealth team. The company’s superb NICU care management program reduces length of stay per case while also reducing readmission rates through a strong program of parental support and connectivity. Babies go home healthier and sooner, and the entire package of case management support through inpatient care and post-discharge followup care significantly increases member satisfaction.

About ProgenyHealth

ProgenyHealth is the market leader and the only national company focused exclusively on medically complex newborns admitted to a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) or special care nursery after birth. Our team takes a holistic approach to working with plans, providers, and families throughout the NICU baby’s first year of life. ProgenyHealth’s neonatologists, NICU nurses, pediatric nurses, and social workers, work collaboratively with providers to ensure health care services follow evidence-based best practices and are medically necessary. Families become active participants in the health care decision making process by working closely with the ProgenyHealth clinical team.

ProgenyHealth has successfully managed thousands of NICU infants and delivered positive results to all of our health plan partners. Working with over 1,300 hospitals and 6,000 providers nationwide, we are measurably improving health outcomes for premature and medically complex newborns. For more information on our programs and services, please visit www.progenyhealth.com.

About Sunstone Partners

Sunstone Partners is a growth equity firm focused on minority and majority investments in technology-enabled services and software businesses.  The firm seeks to partner with exceptional management teams, often as their first institutional capital partner, to help accelerate growth, fund acquisitions, and provide shareholder liquidity.  Principals at Sunstone Partners have invested in 49 technology businesses over the past 20 years.  Notable investments in the healthcare IT market include: Acclaris (sold to Willis Towers Watson), AdvancedICU Care, ArroHealth (sold to CIOX Health), Resolution Health (sold to Anthem) and Teladoc (publicly traded on the NYSE).  The firm is currently investing out of Sunstone Partners I, a $310 million fund.  For more information visit www.sunstonepartners.com.


Onica pulls in $20 million from Sunstone Partners

LOS ANGELES, CA (PRWEB) OCTOBER 31, 2017
CorpInfo, a leading IT services company announces the formation of Onica, with a $20 million growth equity investment from Sunstone Partners. Onica will focus solely on the exponential growth of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) consulting and managed services business. Onica is an AWS Premier Consulting Partner and Managed Service Provider Partner.

Onica will be led by cloud services visionary, CEO Stephen Garden, who transformed CorpInfo from a legacy consulting company into an industry leading cloud advisory firm.

“Today’s announcements are the culmination of four years at the forefront of the cloud computing boom in collaboration with AWS and having supported hundreds of customers in their transformations,” Garden said. “This investment will allow Onica to continue to expand sales, marketing, and delivery resources globally, and to accelerate our development of technology solutions that bring operational excellence to the enterprise cloud journey.”

Onica joined the AWS Partner Network (APN) in 2013 under Garden’s leadership as Vice President of Cloud Services for CorpInfo, and then quickly became an APN Premier Consulting Partner. The company has since completed more than 400 AWS engagements and now boasts over 150 AWS certifications with customers spending over $100 million a year on the cloud.

“The CorpInfo-Onica story is a great example of how an APN Partner is accelerating cloud adoption for our customers,” said Terry Wise, Global Vice President of Channels and Alliances, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “The new company reflects the team’s single-minded focus on helping customers succeed on AWS.”

“There is no bigger transformation in IT today than the shift within the enterprise from private data centers to the use of public cloud infrastructure,” said Mike Biggee, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Sunstone Partners. “We are excited to partner with the Onica team to help guide customers through this massive change. Onica has built deep intellectual property and know-how around automating the migration and management of complex workloads in the cloud, enabling enterprise customers to achieve new levels of operational value and productivity while reducing IT infrastructure costs.”

Onica has been a regular on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies. It has also been named a CRN® Triple Crown Award Winner – forty North American solution providers had the necessary revenue, growth, and technical expertise to be recognized on three of CRN’s pre-eminent solution provider lists, earning them the Triple Crown Award this year.

About Onica
Onica is a cloud consulting and managed services company, helping businesses enable, operate, and innovate on the cloud. From migration strategy to operational excellence and immersive transformation, Onica is a full spectrum integrator, helping hundreds of companies realize the value, efficiency, and productivity of the cloud. Learn more at http://www.onica.com.

About Sunstone Partners
Sunstone Partners is a private equity firm focused on growth equity and growth buyout investments in technology-enabled services businesses. The firm was formed by the spin-out of the growth equity team of Trident Capital, an investment firm with $1.9 billion of capital under management, since 1993. The firm is currently investing out of Sunstone Partners I, LP, a $310 million fund. For more information visit http://www.sunstonepartners.com.


NetSPI Raises Growth Capital From Sunstone Partners

MINNEAPOLIS, April 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- NetSPI LLC (NetSPI), the leading security testing and vulnerability correlation company, today announced the completion of a strategic growth equity financing led by Sunstone Partners. The investment will allow NetSPI to accelerate development of new products and service offerings, penetrate new verticals, and expand geographically.

NetSPI has grown profitably every year since its founding in 2001, and this financing marks the first institutional capital ever raised by the company.  NetSPI currently supports many of the top 10 financial institutions, healthcare providers, and technology companies. 

"Our clients are under intense pressure from business, regulatory, and governance perspectives to partner with cybersecurity experts to increase their security posture to safeguard their organization against the volatile and ever-evolving threat landscape.  Our solution portfolio comprises of a world-class proprietary software platform, CorrelatedVM®, encapsulated with deep professional services expertise which is empowering global organizations to scale and operationalize their security programs," said Deke George, NetSPI's Co-Founder & CEO. "We are looking forward to our partnership with Sunstone Partners given their team's successful track record and experience in cybersecurity."

According to the report, "Penetration Testing Market by Testing Service (Network, Web, Mobile, Social Engineering, Wireless, Embedded Devices and Industrial Control System), Deployment Mode (Cloud and On-Premises), Organization Size, Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, penetration testing market size is estimated to grow from USD 594.7 Million in 2016 to USD 1,724.3 Million by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23.7% during the forecast period. 2015 is considered to be the base year while the forecast period is 2016–2021. 

"We have known NetSPI for several years and have been consistently impressed by the team's culture, product offering, and loyal customer base," said Gustavo Alberelli, Managing Director at Sunstone Partners.  "NetSPI's enterprise customers repeatedly stress their satisfaction and growing need for NetSPI's differentiated solutions, especially given the increasing number of connected applications susceptible to vulnerabilities and advanced persistent threats.  Security testing continues to be the fastest-growing subsegment within cybersecurity, and we are excited to partner with the NetSPI team to maximize the company's full potential."

As part of the investment, the new board of directors will include Gustavo Alberelli and Michael Biggee, Managing Directors at Sunstone Partners, Scott Hammack, and Stuart Scholly joined by Deke George. Hammack will serve as NetSPI's Executive Chairman.  Hammack and Scholly most recently worked with the Sunstone Partners team while serving as CEO and President respectively of Prolexic Technologies, the leading Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation provider, which Akamai acquired in February 2014 for $415 million. Mooreland Partners LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to NetSPI LLC in connection with this transaction.

About NetSPI

NetSPI is the leading provider of application and network security testing solutions that support organizations in scaling and operationalizing their threat and vulnerability management programs.  The solution portfolio includes both security testing services and a software platform, CorrelatedVM®, trusted by many of the Fortune 250. NetSPI's clients consist of financial institutions, healthcare providers, retailers, and technology companies.  NetSPI is based in Minneapolis and has additional offices in New York and Portland.  

www.netspi.com

About Sunstone Partners

Sunstone Partners is an investment firm focused on growth equity investments and majority buyouts in technology businesses. The firm is a spin-out of the growth equity team of Trident Capital, a multi-stage investment firm with seven funds and $1.9 billion of capital under management since 1993. The firm is currently investing out of Sunstone Partners I, LP, a fund with $310 million of committed capital. Sunstone Partners is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.   

www.sunstonepartners.com


Sunstone Partners Closes $300 Million Fund

PALO ALTO, CA, APRIL 28, 2016 – Sunstone Partners, a newly formed growth equity firm, today announced the closing of its first fund, Sunstone Partners I, L.P., with $300 million of total commitments. The fund initially targeted $200 million, was significantly oversubscribed, and reached its hard cap without using a placement agent. The new fund’s investors include university endowments, corporate pension plans, foundations, insurance companies, investment advisors, state and government retirement systems and family offices.

Sunstone Partners is a spin-out of the growth equity team of Trident Capital, a multi-stage investment firm with seven funds and $1.9 billion of capital under management since 1993. Sunstone Partners was initially known as TC Growth Partners. Recent liquidity events for the Sunstone team include the initial public offering of Teladoc (NYSE: TDOC) and several successful M&A transactions: Acclaris (acquired by Towers Watson), Prolexic (acquired by Akamai), Fruition Partners (acquired by CSC) and Voltage Security (acquired by HP).

The senior leadership team consists of co-founders Gustavo Alberelli, Michael Biggee, John Moragne and Arneek Multani. The four co-founders have over 60 years of cumulative investment experience, most of which have been working together at Trident, and have together led 46 individual investments.

At Sunstone Partners, the team will continue to lead growth equity investments and majority recapitalizations/buyouts in technology-enabled services businesses with a history of capital efficiency. The firm will focus on four core industry sectors – Healthcare IT, Internet and Marketing Services, Cloud and Enterprise IT, and Cybersecurity. Equity investments will range from $15 to $75 million per portfolio company. Target companies will have the following financial criteria:

  • Annual revenue of at least $10 million;
  • Revenue growth greater than 20% per year; and
  • Breakeven or profitable.

In 2015, the firm closed its first investment, a $34 million financing of UserZoom Technologies, the leading user experience research and testing software-as-a-service platform.

Arneek Multani and Gustavo Alberelli stated, “We are humbled by the strong market validation of our strategy and grateful to our limited partner investors for demonstrating their confidence in us. Our team looks forward to building upon our new Sunstone Partners platform.”

To help founders and management teams drive their companies forward, Sunstone Partners offers substantial expertise in operational best practices and a team of experienced operating executives to provide hands-on guidance. Leading the portfolio operations team is managing director of portfolio operations, John Reardon, as well as operating partners Jeff Rich and Scott Hammack.

John Moragne and Michael Biggee stated, “We spun out to build a new firm focused exclusively on growth stage investing, dedicated to a simple strategy: to partner with founders and management teams and dramatically increase the value of their companies by recruiting top notch talent, implementing best in class infrastructure and accelerating sales growth.”

About Sunstone Partners

Sunstone Partners is a new growth equity firm focused on technology-enabled services companies. The firm is a spin-out of the growth equity team of Trident Capital, a multi-stage investment firm with seven funds and $1.9 billion of capital under management since 1993. Sunstone Partners makes growth equity and growth buyout investments in companies that have annual revenue of at least $10 million, are growing at greater than 20% per year and are profitable. We invest in both sizable minority positions and control transactions. www.sunstonepartners.com