Puppet, Portland’s largest tech company, sold to Minneapolis-based Perforce Software

Portland software program developer Puppet, the city’s biggest homegrown tech company, marketed Monday to a Minneapolis company termed Perforce Software program. The privately held firms didn’t disclose phrases of their deal but indicated Puppet will operate as a standalone business enterprise inside of Perforce, at minimum for the time becoming.

“I’m happy and delighted with what we’ve completed, and I consider Perforce is a fantastic area to land,” said Luke Kanies, the Reed Faculty graduate who founded Puppet in 2005 and served as its CEO until 2016. Kanies is still on Puppet’s board.

“All acquisitions are bittersweet. No just one should start out a company in hopes it will become part of a larger sized firm,” Kanies claimed. “But I do think this is a excellent outcome for the company. It is as very good an result as we could make it for as many persons as attainable.”

Puppet provides 500 staff to Perforce’s workforce of 1,200. Perforce explained Monday that Puppet’s Portland office environment will continue being open up. The larger sized business claimed it operates on a hybrid operate product, identical to Puppet’s.

Puppet was perhaps the most outstanding of a 50 percent-dozen tech companies that helped revitalize Oregon’s tech industry in the aftermath of the Excellent Recession. Its program can help take care of details facilities and other massive laptop or computer methods.

Puppet moved its headquarters from Kanies’ home state of Tennessee to Portland in 2009, and grew into a single of the city’s greatest-funded and ideal-regarded engineering businesses. It elevated at the very least $128 million and after had 600 staff members, most of them at its headquarters on the Portland waterfront.

Puppet pursued an preliminary community presenting in 2016, but technology moved promptly, and its shoppers shortly had possibilities to the Portland company’s growth operations, or DevOps, computer software. Development slowed, Kanies stepped down as CEO, and Puppet shelved its IPO strategies and endured two rounds of layoffs.

“Whether I like it or not, DevOps groups are diverse now,” Kanies wrote on Twitter. “Companies are seeking for a complete remedy, relatively than seeking to integrate particular person finest of breed vendors. And the globe is shifting in loads of other methods, not all of which we have completed well at following.”

Continue to, Puppet remained one of the city’s most noticeable technology companies and the organization explained Monday its annual revenues best $100 million. Puppet reported it serves 40 of the Fortune 50 premier organizations and counts 85% of the world’s premier financial institutions as customers.

And Puppet executives assisted run a succession of smaller Portland companies, contributing to ongoing renewal in the city’s tech scene.

In 2020 Puppet declared it prepared an IPO the adhering to yr. But though the corporation was certainly below strain from its original backers to locate some return on their investments — Puppet’s first funding was 13 decades in the past — a public supplying at this late date appeared a longshot and under no circumstances materialized.

“There was a issue in time the place lots of of us, myself provided, considered Puppet would be a person of the great IPOs to appear out of the Pacific Northwest. And for a enterprise of our size, we’ve generally punched higher than our excess weight,” Puppet CEO Yvonne Wassenaar wrote in an open up letter Monday, acknowledging the business did not meet up with some of its aims.

“But what matters lengthy-time period is not what financial milestones gas a company’s expansion,” Wassenaar said. Instead, she mentioned, Puppet will be ready to attain shoppers with Perforce “in a way that we could not have carried out on our very own.”

Perforce, established in 1995, is backed by non-public equity corporations Francisco Partners and Clearlake Money Team. It reported that buying Puppet will broaden Perforce’s individual portfolio of DevOps software.

“With Puppet, we will be giving our prospects with entry to a merchandise portfolio that allows them to generate innovation on a global scale. We appear forward to welcoming the Puppet crew and continuing to present the stage of client assist, companies, and community Puppet has set up in the marketplace,” Perforce CEO Mark Ties reported in a assertion.

Alongside with Jive Software package, Urban Airship (now Airship), Elemental Technologies, Jama Software package, Janrain, Act-On Software package and on-line banker Simple, Puppet shaped a cluster of tech startups in downtown Portland a ten years back. Collectively, they aided changeover Oregon’s tech sector absent from its historical reliance on laptop or computer components.

All all those providers had big aspirations, generally unrealized. Jive, for instance, primarily shut down in 2017 following its sale to a Texas enterprise. The very same issue took place to Easy, which pulled the plug past calendar year immediately after the sale of its dad or mum financial institution.

Their legacies endure, though, in smaller businesses released by their alumni, outposts of larger sized providers based mostly somewhere else, and a cadre of seasoned technologies executives who lower their teeth in a bustling Portland startup scene.

“It’s so tough to emphasis on what we bought and what we achieved and not to concentrate on the goals we had 5 decades back,” Kanies explained Monday. He mentioned that managing Puppet experienced taken a major toll on him, personally, and that he’s getting some time to recroup.

There is undoubtedly a evaluate of disappointment that Puppet didn’t grow into the massive, standalone small business software package firm he envisioned then, Kanies acknowledged. But he stated he usually takes great fulfillment that Puppet remade its sector of the application business with tools that built it less difficult for DevOps experts to do their positions.

And Kanies stated he requires pleasure in creating a welcoming, open up local community within just Puppet. If he’d been advised what Puppet would become back again in 2005, or 2009, Kanies reported he would have been delighted.

“I would have taken it in a heartbeat,” Kanies claimed. “Because it really meant that significantly, and mainly because we truly did conclusion up carrying out so considerably.”

— Mike Rogoway | [email protected] | Twitter: @rogoway | 503-294-7699

Stacee R. Grigg

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