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Waud Capital commits $150 mln to build a vertical software platform

Waud Capital partnered with three former Intralinks' executives for its new initiative

Waud Capital is in the market to build a vertical software company led by ex-Intralinks executives.

The Chicago-based firm dedicated $150 million to support an investment in a high-growth vertical software company.

For the initiative, Waud partnered with former Intralinks’ CEO Leif O’Leary, along with the company’s former CFO Shay Gonen and former Senior Vice President of Marketing Peter Frintzilas.

The executives will focus on identifying a platform in the vertical software space together with Waud and will later assume executive leadership roles within that company, Waud Partner Justin DuPere and O’Leary told PE Hub.

“The highest priority for me was how we can work together with Waud and how we can focus on building and creating value in the software space,” O’Leary said. “My priority is people, and Waud places value on human capital, which is similar to how I look at doing business.”

Waud’s investment strategy starts with identifying a market to invest in, which it follows with finding a CEO with applicable skills and experience to partner with, and subsequently, selecting a company to acquire and build, according to DuPere.

In September, the firm committed $150 million to a partnership with Philippe Ozanian, Infovista’s former CEO, to identify an HR technology company and ultimately serve as its CEO.

In connection with Waud’s latest initiative, the firm and O’Leary will look at a broad range of sub-verticals, including vertical software companies that operate in fintech and the broader regulatory market, O’Leary said.

The firm will target companies that can quickly ramp up to at least $50 million in pro-forma revenue, he said.

The firm also is flexible around the size of its initial platform investment, according to Waud’s DuPere.

“We can do something as small as $20 million in revenue that can grow quickly through additional M&A, but we are not afraid of something as large as several hundred million in revenue,” he said.

Waud will also consider carve-outs and opportunities to invest in international companies, DuPere added.

Its latest fund, Waud Capital Fund IV, closed on $1 billion in February 2016.

Waud, based in Chicago, makes control equity investments of $50 million to $200 million in technology, healthcare services and business services companies.

Action Item: Contact Justin DuPere at JDuPere@waudcapital.com.