Blue Star Innovation Partners, a Frisco-based growth focused investment firm that partners with leading software and payments companies, has invested in Sonar Software, an Atlanta-based provider of BSS & OSS solutions for internet service providers, Blue Star announced.
“We view Sonar as a leader in the telecommunications technology market and believe there are attractive opportunities to accelerate growth and to better serve our existing customers,” Jeff Gardner, partner at Blue Star Innovation Partners, said in a statement. “This strategic investment will be a powerful driver to support Sonar’s global expansion into new markets and the development of new products and services.”
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Blue Star said the investment comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of telecommunications companies in keeping businesses, governments, and communities connected. Governments are investing billions in closing the digital divide, Blue Star said, and internet service providers look for modern solutions to scale and grow their business to efficiently bring high-speed internet to underserved rural areas and developing countries.
“We evaluated several investment firms, and Blue Star was the clear choice as they have successfully grown customer-centric organizations with a key interest in growth transformation. Their leadership and expertise will support our vision of creating a scalable model to serve the global communications technology market while providing exceptional value to our customers,” Sonar Software CEO Simon Westlake said in a statement.
Headquartered at The Star in Frisco, Blue Star Innovation Partners is a growth-oriented family office established by Rob Wechsler, an experienced businessperson, entrepreneur, and investor with a track record of starting and leading multiple companies, and Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys’ owner. Founded in 2017, BSIP notes significant successes to date, including 17 platform investments and over 100 transactions made across their portfolio companies.
Blue star’s Gardner has a notable background in software and payments solutions as the former COO and board member of Government Brands, completing over 30 acquisitions in just over 3 years, recapitalization of more than $1 billion from PSG and TPG. Gardner was also founder and CEO of Value Payment Systems, where he processed over $4B in payments annually before selling it to Government Brands. Prior to that, he was executive vice president at Link2Gov, which later sold to Metavante. Rounding off his comprehensive experience, Gardner spent 19 years managing software/payments for the Internal Revenue Service.
The firm claims extensive knowledge in software and payments, advanced go-to-market strategies, and strategic M&A techniques. BSIP is an active partner that offers comprehensive operational proficiency to companies it works with.
Blue Star Innovation Partners has also had four successful exits over the past few years, the company says. In February, BSIP and growth equity firm PSG announced the sale of Payrix to FIS. The pioneering fintech, founded in 2015, focuses on helping software as a service companies integrate payments into their offerings, and advancing the payment experience.
Sonar Software primarily is targeted at telecom providers, such as such as WISPs (Wireless Internet Service Providers), Fiber providers, MDUs (Multi-Dwelling Units), VoIP services, and Cable companies. Enterprise services providers can also manage their wholesale, commercial and retail business in one platform, the company says. The platform aims to help businesses manage their invoices, payments, and other financial operations in an automated and efficient way. The cloud-based Sonar platform also provides customers with interactive service experiences through its customer portal and smart reporting solutions through Sonar BI, its business intelligence reporting feature.
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