Zelis backers Parthenon, Bain step in to lead amid CEO departure, GTCR bets on growth of marketing tech, KKR leads growth funding in pizzeria tech platform Slice

GGC forms a new marketing tech company Dreamscape and OMERS' new head of global private equity wants to safeguard the portfolio amid the pandemic downturn.

Happy Wednesday, Dear Tech Take readers!

One positive thing to come out of quarantine is a little extra time for hobbies. As techno music fans, we bought DJ equipment in the winter, and now, with not much else to do, we’re getting good. This weekend we made our live-stream debut via Zoom. What hobbies are keeping you entertained?

Marketing Tech
GTCR is betting on the growth opportunity in marketing tech as consumers increasingly move to online shopping in what remains a largely remote environment.

The Chicago PE house has joined forces with Scott Knoll, David Hahn and Michael Iantosca, former senior executives at Integral Ad Science, to create a new company that will help marketers and advertisers drive actionable decision making.

This kind of a leader partnership approach has long been the M.O. at GTCR, but is particularly valuable in an economic slowdown, Craig Bondy, managing director at GTCR, told me.

“In today’s market environment where deals are a little bit harder to execute, partnering with management teams and lining up great CEOs to be our partners is a very effective countercyclical way of preparing ourselves for the future,” Bondy said.

The new company, Dreamscape, will focus on finding the right platform investment to build upon, Bondy said, adding that the firm looks to commit several hundreds of millions of dollars to the platform.

“I think the coronavirus, if nothing else, has accelerated the move from offline commerce to online commerce,” Bondy said. “With increasing online commerce, there is an increasing need to get a picture of your customer across various fragments and the way they access the web, whether it’s through [the] open web or through apps, or through social networks, or chat,” Bondy said.
Read more about GTCR’s plans for Dreamscape.

GTCR isn’t the only firm seeing an outsized opportunity to invest being marketing tech. KKR just announced a marketing tech investment, but in a company that also lets you order pizza to your front door. The firm led $43 million Series C funding round for Slice, an ordering and marketing tech platform for local pizzerias. Existing early investors, including GGV Capital, also participated in the round.

Top Scoops
Michael Graham, OMERS’ new head of global private equity, said the system’s first order of business is safeguarding the portfolio through the pandemic downturn. He sees abundant deal potential in the global economy battered by the downturn, writes Kirk Falconer on Buyouts.

“Values have recently been tough to find. As the market gets choppier, we see lots of opportunities for buying great companies at better prices.” OMERS, he added, “has the capital to deploy to these.”

Graham plans on reinforcing the system’s direct investment strategy, increasingly with an eye for bargains in the down-market, Kirk writes. Read it here on Buyouts.

The CEO of one of the large mergers last year stepped down from his role after less than a year at the helm, writes Sarah Pringle on PE Hub. The company, Zelis Healthcare, a healthcare fintech business, will begin a search for a new leader. On an interim basis, Parthenon co-CEO and Managing Partner Dave Ament and Bain Capital Operating Partner Amanda Eisel, will lead the company alongside the executive team.

Representing one of 2019’s largest sponsor deals on the healthcare technology front, Parthenon last year merged its portfolio companies, Zelis Healthcare and RedCard, while bringing in Bain Capital as an investor, Sarah writes.

The transaction valued the newly created company at approximately $5.7 billion, sources close to the deal told PE Hub at the time. Read the full story here on PE Hub.

That’s it! Have a great day! Hit me up with your thoughts at mvinn@buyoutsinsider.com.