citybiz+ LLR Partners Signed Off 2023 with Inc. Magazine Listing and 6 Acquisitions by Portfolio Firms

LLR Partners signed off the fourth quarter with six acquisitions by portfolio firms, and a fifth consecutive listing on Inc. magazine’s ranking of the best founder-friendly investors.

“The recognition highlights LLR as a partner committed to backing entrepreneurs and supporting founder-led businesses by providing them with capital and value creation resources to help drive growth,” the Philadelphia-based private equity firm, which has raised more than $5 billion across six funds, said in a newsletter to investors last week.

“Now more than ever, founder-led companies need financing partners that offer guidance, expertise, and understanding — not just capital,” Inc. Editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk wrote in the magazine, alongside the listing. “These are the private equity, venture capital, and debt firms that have founders’ backs when it comes to accelerating growth.”

Inc.’s Founder-Friendly Investors list is based on feedback from entrepreneurs who sold stakes to private equity and venture capital firms, and objective criteria of growth.

Founded in 1999, the lower middle market private equity firm makes growth capital investments in technology and healthcare companies with annual revenues of at least $10 million. In 2023, LLR was also recognized by BluWave as a Top Private Equity Innovator for the second consecutive year.

In the last two years, LLR said it expanded its “Value Creation Team” by 60% to 28. This cross-functional team works alongside the investment unit, with the goal of “helping founders mature and scale with a shared vision of success and respect for founder-led cultures built from the ground up.”

LLR Partners’ portfolio firms announced six M&A deals in the quarter. They are as follows:

Celero Commerce Acquires Finical. Celero Commerce, formed by LLR Partners in late 2018, acquired Dallas, Texas-based Finical, a provider of electronic payments technology. The Nashville, Tenn., firm is among the top 10 U.S. non-bank payment processors. With the addition of Dallas-based Finical, Celero will process transactions worth about $25 billion annually. Finical is Celero’s 10th acquisition.

DaySmart Picks Up Sawyer. DaySmart Software, a developer of business management software, bought Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Sawyer, which makes children’s activity software. The acquisition expands DaySmart’s offering within the recreation market to include scheduling and payments solutions for K-12 activities. LLR Partners and Parthenon Capital acquired DaySmart, of Ann Arbor, Mich., from SFW Capital Partners in 2019.

Eye Health America Buys Fla. Practices. Eye Health America, an integrated eyecare platform in Southeastern United States, acquired Venice, Fla.-based Medical, Laser, & Surgical Care of Vision and Eye Diseases. The acquisition was the firm’s 23rd since 2018. LLR in 2018 formed Eye Health America, headquartered in Greenville, S.C.

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Quantum Workplace Acquires TalentKeepers. Omaha, Neb.-based Quantum Workplace, whose employee success platform earned it a partnership with the Best Places to Work Program, acquired Winter Park, Fla.-based TalentKeepers, a provider of employee engagement and retention solutions. LLR took a stake in Quantum Workplace in early 2022.

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Salute Expands to Ireland. Franklin, Wis.-based Salute Mission Critical, which runs data centers, and recruits and trains military veterans to become world-class technicians, bought Ireland’s OBMG, a European firm in the mission critical space. The strategic acquisition expands Salute’s international capabilities, notably in Europe. LLR Partners invested in Salute Mission in early 2021.

Schweiger Dermatology Buys N.J. Firms. New York-based Schweiger Dermatology Group acquired the New Jersey practices – Millburn Laser Center (“Millburn”) and Scherl Dermatology — of NavaDerm Partners, a portfolio company of Florida’s BelHealth Investment Partners. In 2016, LLR Partners led a $35 million investment in Schweiger, now the largest group dermatology practice on the east coast.