Inside the exit: Rotunda built up ramp-maker’s e-commerce business

Rotunda partner Corey Whisner says the firm focused on building Motis Brands' management team, expanded its digital marketing capabilities and made several acquisitions.

Rotunda Capital Partners, a Bethesda, Maryland-based private equity firm that backs lower mid-market companies in distribution, logistics, industrial and business services, recently sold Motis Brands to Boston-based Prospect Hill Growth Partners. PE Hub spoke with Rotunda partner Corey Whisner about the exit.

Rotunda made its initial investment in Motis, an online seller of ramps, lifts and other hauling products, back in 2013. Since then, revenues at Motis have quadrupled.

“We saw an opportunity to keep growing it,” Whisner said. “We expected this one to be on the longer end of our hold period. We like to grow and build businesses, and we saw an opportunity to do that here.”

Rotunda focused on building Motis’s management team, expanded its digital marketing capabilities, put up new operating facilities and made several acquisitions, Whisner said.

Acquisitions included Heavy Duty Ramps, Race Ramps, Elasco Products, Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs and Pier d’ Nort, all of which helped Rotunda to scale the business.

The company managed to prevent supply chain problems by carrying “more inventory than we otherwise would have in order to prevent out-of-stocks,” Whisner said.

Although the pandemic initially affected Motis’s sales, Whisner said the situation prompted the company to bolster its e-commerce business.

As for the future, “I think we created a business that can continue to grow organically and through acquisitions,” Whisner said.