Austin, Tex.-based Vista Equity Partners agreed to acquire Framingham, Mass.-based software testing company Applause, formerly known as uTest.

The startup was founded in 2007 by Doron Reuveni, CEO, and Roy Solomon, Head of Emerging Sales. In 2015, the company repurposed the uTest brand as a community of over 250,000 crowdsourced professional testers, and re-launched under the Applause brand.

The startup previously raised over $115 million in funding from leading investors including Accenture, Credit Suisse, Egan-Managed Capital, Goldman Sachs, Longworth Venture Partners, MassVentures, Mesco Ltd, QuestMark Partners, and Scale Venture Partners.

“We are delighted that Applause is joining the Vista family. We look forward to partnering with the Applause team to spur innovation, accelerate growth and extend its market leadership in community driven digital experiences,” said billionaire Robert F. Smith, Vistas’ Founder, Chairman and CEO.

Vista Equity Partners, with additional offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and Oakland, has more than $30 billion in cumulative capital commitments. The firm invests in software, data and technology-enabled companies.

“This is a tremendous milestone for Applause, one which validates our mission: to deliver flawless digital experiences to the world,” said Doron Reuveni, President and CEO, Applause. “Our human-centric approach to software design and quality has become essential to ensure technology works as intended, by real people, in the real world. As we take Applause to our next stage of growth, we are delighted to partner with Vista’s second-to-none talent and expertise.”

Applause will continue to operate independently with no changes in executive leadership. The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as lead financial advisor to Applause. Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor to Vista. Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to Applause. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Vista.

Photo: Robert F. Smith, founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. (Bloomberg/Getty Images)



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