LLR Partners Invests in Message Systems

LLR Partners, a middle-market private equity firm in Philadelphia, today announced it has invested in Message Systems, a 15-year-old, Columbia, Md.- based company that makes email software for marketers and big brands. The transaction returns some money to NewSpring Capital, which invested $6 million in Message Systems in 2010, though neither the amount that LLR is investing, nor the exact amount being returned to NewSpring, is being disclosed.


LLR Partners, a middle market private equity firm with more than $1.4 billion under management, today announced a growth capital investment in Message Systems, the leader in digital messaging technology, whose solutions support the customer engagement strategies of many of the world’s most innovative brands.

Message Systems develops software that enables companies of all kinds to engage with customers on their terms – how, when and where they want – and dynamically respond as individual customer needs change. With its suite of powerful, flexible solutions, Message Systems has built a large and diverse client base, including the world’s leading social networks, financial services providers and payment processors, daily deal sites, telcos and Internet brands. With hundreds of enterprises now relying on the company’s software, Message Systems technology has become a key element in the global digital infrastructure, touching many millions of consumers every day.

Message Systems will leverage the investment from LLR Partners to strengthen and further develop its industry-leading customer engagement software, strengthen its position in current vertical markets and expand into new industry sectors. Based in Columbia, MD, Message Systems is LLR Partners’ second transaction in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. corridor since announcing its commitment to investing in the region in spring 2011.

“Social media, mobile technologies and emerging digital messaging channels have completely changed the way consumers communicate with each other, and with businesses, on a daily basis. Message Systems enables enterprises to engage customers through emerging digital channels, and achieve new levels of personalization and targeted interaction,” said Greg Case, partner leading the Software & IT Services investment team at LLR. “It is another example of the Baltimore-D.C. market nurturing strong, under-the-radar, middle market companies that are leading the way in how enterprises leverage new technology.”

“By partnering with LLR, Message Systems will be able to accelerate growth and differentiate ourselves with an expanding suite of solutions,” says George Schlossnagle, founder and CEO of Message Systems. “Our unique technologies help companies with complex challenges in sending and receiving digital messages better leverage data to manage real-time messaging policy. They are proven to drive higher engagement rates, support new monetization strategies and optimize deliverability. The gains our clients in social media and daily deals have realized from mobile and cross-channel messaging are proving just as relevant to enterprises in financial services, retail, consumer technology, travel and more. We look forward to working with LLR.”

Mr. Case and Paul Winn, operating partner at LLR Partners, will join the board of directors at Message Systems. The transaction provides liquidity to NewSpring Capital, which invested in Message Systems in 2010, as well as other shareholders.

The industry leader in messaging technology, Message Systems offers a family of software solutions and services that addresses the digital communications needs of today’s most innovative companies. Telecommunications carriers, ISPs, marketing services providers, cloud computing firms and social media companies rely on Message Systems software to power the message-based communications driving their critical business initiatives. Message Systems solutions get billions of unique messages to the right place at the right time every day through the full range of channels: email, SMS/MMS text messaging and more. Founded in 1997, the company is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. For more information, go to messagesystems.com or call 877.887.3031.

About LLR Partners

LLR Partners provides capital to middle market growth companies with proven business models in a broad range of industries including financial, health care and business services, information technology and education. With over $1.4 billion under management, LLR is flexible in its approach, taking minority or majority positions, and investing in transactions ranging from expansion and growth capital to recapitalizations and buyouts. For more information about LLR, please visit www.llrpartners.com.

About NewSpring Capital

NewSpring Capital, based in Radnor, PA, is a leading provider of private equity capital focused in the Mid-Atlantic region. NewSpring Capital currently has over $800 million of assets under management. The family of funds consists of: (i) NewSpring Growth, which provides equity capital to growth and expansion stage companies with a focus on business services, enabling technology and information technology; (ii) NewSpring Healthcare which provides equity capital to healthcare companies within the healthcare services, specialty pharmaceutical sectors and medical technology; and (iii) NewSpring Mezzanine, which provides mezzanine capital for expansion stage and buyout opportunities in the business services, healthcare, information technology, and specialty manufacturing sectors. NewSpring Capital partners with entrepreneurs, leveraging its capital and experience, to assist them in turning their visions into reality. To learn more about NewSpring Capital, please visit www.newspringcapital.com.