Robert Smith is a reclusive billionaire, though he and his PE shop Vista Equity Partners has been the dominant PE investor in technology companies.
A little over a month ago, Vista closed the largest ever technology-focused private equity fund at over $10B. While that is soon to be eclipsed by other firms, they are clearly following Vista’s lead. Earlier this week, Dan Primack at Axios broke the news that Vista had closed another $500M fund that will focus on earlier stage technology investments.
You can’t help but notice when you see a black face on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Dealbook site. Since reading that piece years ago, it’s been so interesting to watch Vista make moves in the tech industry considering the parallel conversation around the lack of African-Americans in the tech industry. He is clear that certain limited partners don’t invest with his firm because of his race, yet he continues to dominate. That’s flexing if I’ve ever seen it.