The new San Antonio and Austin, Texas-based private equity fund Dry Line Partners LLC has announced its first business acquisitions that will help grow an Alamo City cybersecurity company. Dry Line worked with Porthcawl Holdings LLC to back Jungle Disk’s purchase of three businesses from parent company J2 Global, Inc., a leading internet information and services company with a portfolio of brands.
The acquired businesses, KeepItSafe, LiveVault, and OffsiteDataSync., will bring these three “global backup and disaster recovery businesses under a common ownership, increasing the capabilities for us [Jungle Disk] to meet customer needs,” said Bret Piatt, CEO of Jungle Disk, a San Antonio online backup software service and data security company.
Piatt is an entrepreneur and investor who is also one of Dry Line’s three founding partners.
The other two Dry Line partners are Michael Girdley, a San Antonio-based investor, entrepreneur, and business executive, and Matt Morris, an experienced private equity investor who relocated from the Bay area to Austin in 2020. Girdley first met Morris when Morris led the 2018 $10 million Series A investment in Dura Software that Girdley and Paul Salisbury, Dura’s CEO, launched in 2018.
The undisclosed amount for buying the three companies represents a deal amount that will make Jungle Disk “the second-biggest private technology company in San Antonio with this acquisition,” Girdley said.
Piatt first learned of the opportunity to acquire these three companies over the Christmas break in late 2020. By February, Piatt, Girdley, and Morris had formed Dry Line as a private equity firm that acquires mid-market, business-to-business, or B2B software businesses.
Private equity is an alternative form of private financing in which funds and investors directly invest in companies or engage in acquisitions of target companies.
“We’ve been working on this transaction for nine months now,” Morris said. “I’m excited to do more in the future and contribute to the growth of San Antonio and Austin.”
KeepItSafe, LiveVault, and OffsiteDataSync, which made up J2’s B2B cloud backup businesses, serve thousands of enterprise and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMB) worldwide. The acquisitions of these three proprietary data backup and disaster recovery software services allow Jungle Disk to expand upon its portfolio of cybersecurity software solutions designed to meet the needs of SMB owners.
“The addition of KeepItSafe, LiveVault, and OffsiteDataSync to our suite of offerings enables Jungle Disk to better serve our existing customers, expands our geographic and product footprints, and drastically enhances our scale,” Piatt said.
Piatt and business partner Huw Edwards launched Porthcawl Holdings to buy the data backup and cybersecurity company Jungle Disk from Rackspace in 2016, moving it to downtown San Antonio. The growing Jungle Disk company has over 25 employees and plans to relocate to a larger office space nearby in the downtown tech corridor.
The California-based KeepItSafe, Massachusetts-headquartered LiveVault, and New York-based OffsiteDataSync combined have over 50 employees based in remote locations across the U.S. listed on LinkedIn. Girdley said there are a little over 100 employees working on distributed teams for the three companies. No relocations for the existing workforce will be required. The leaders of each business will eventually move to the San Antonio area, Girdley said.
“We are excited about the opportunity to do more deals like this that bring great jobs to San Antonio,” Girdley said. “These companies will be headquartered in San Antonio supported by a global workforce.”
Dry Line plans to acquire additional recurring revenue technology businesses in the future, Morris said. The Dry Line partners are on the lookout for infrastructure software and companies that can scale.
“It’s an interesting time, and in many ways, it’s challenging because we’re more value-oriented. We’re being careful and selective in choosing companies for our next deal,” Morris added.
The featured photo is of Bret Piatt, CEO of Jungle Disk and one of the three partners behind the new private equity fund Dry Line Partners, courtesy photo.