Vista backs billable hours; Seawall Capital heads outdoors; and software is everywhere

BigTime Software secures $100 million from Vista and get your nominations for Deal of the Year to Buyouts.

Good morning, Hubsters. MK Flynn here with today’s Wire.

“Software is eating the world,” entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said more than 10 years ago. “My own theory is that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy.” Andreessen’s words continue to resonate, and I was reminded of them yesterday, as I watched a stellar panel of investment bankers hosted by Randy Schwimmer, co-head of senior lending at Churchill Asset Management and founder and publisher of The Lead Left. Among the topics discussed was the permeation of technology into all sectors these days. As Pam Hendrickson, vice-chairman of The Riverside Company, told me in a recent interview, “Anything that involves digitization, or a disruptive technology is interesting.”

Billable hours. Vista Equity Partners announced this morning that it has made a $100 million strategic growth investment in BigTime Software, a provider of cloud-based software that tracks billable time for small and medium-sized professional services firms, including accounting, engineering, architecture and IT services. “There is a large and attractive opportunity in this SMB space for professional services automation,” said Rachel Arnold, senior managing director at Vista and co-head of Vista’s Endeavor Fund. “It’s a multibillion-dollar market, and BigTime is a clear leader with the right combination of technology, talent and brand trust to capture that opportunity, especially as these firms rapidly shift toward virtual and hybrid workplace models.”

The Great Outdoors. As covid continues to push people out of crowded indoor venues and into the great outdoors, Seawall Capital is doubling down on outdoor activities. The PE firm, headquartered in Austin, Texas, bought Kent Water Sports a year ago and announced on Wednesday that it has renamed the company Kent Outdoors and bought two add-ons: Bote, which makes paddle boards and kayaks; and Kona Bicycles, which makes bikes. PE Hub’s Aaron Weitzman spoke with Matt Eby, founder of Seawall Capital and chairman of the board of Kent Outdoors, about the strategy. The outdoor activity category represents a “vast opportunity,” Eby said. The impact of covid on the category was significant in several ways. “For folks who were already outdoor enthusiasts, it reinforced those connections,” Eby said. Covid also brought in a “whole new cohort of enthusiasts.”

Deal of the Year: Get your nominations in now for your best exits (either full or majority) that closed in 2021. Awards are given in seven categories: overall deal of the year, large-cap, middle-market, small-cap, international, turnaround and secondaries. Deadline is Friday, Feb. 11. Send to Chris Witkowsky, private equity editor, at Go here for all the rules and regs!

In case you missed it. Check out PE Hub’s Q&A series with high-profile private equity pros, including: Pam Hendrickson, vice chairman of The Riverside Company, who was recently elected chair of the American Investment Council; Trevor Clark, founder and managing partner of Twin Brook Capital Partners; David Grain, founder and CEO of Grain Management; and Beatrice Mitchell, co-founder and managing director of Sperry, Mitchell & Co.

Until tomorrow, MK