Vista seeks to raise upper limit for tech fund to $10.5bn

Robert Smith, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners

The software-focused private equity firm asked investors for permission to lift the $ 10 billion upper limit for its sixth flagship fund by another $ 500 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

If the measure wins approval and Vista Equity Partners Fund VI hits that mark, the fund would edge out a $ 10.3 billion fund fellow buyout shop Silver Lake raised in 2013, which research firm Preqin counts as the largest tech-focused pool raised to date.

Vista would need half the existing investors in the fund to agree to its proposal, one person said. The pool represents a sizeable step up from the $ 5.8 billion flagship fund Vista raised in 2014, and comes as technology emerged as the most popular target this year for private equity firms.

Vista also wants to increase the size of another fund targeting smaller technology deals, according to the people with knowledge of the firm. It plans to raise Vista Foundation Fund III’s maximum size to $ 2.75 billion, up from a $ 2.5 billion original limit.

Vista, which has an army of operators behind its portfolio companies, in 10 months has already raised $ 12.5 billion across the two funds, according to one of the people.

Return-starved pensions and endowments poured into private equity in recent years, fuelling a dramatic increase in assets under management for an elite group of firms. As these buyout shops expand and push into new strategies, investors will watch closely to determine whether these firms can continue to perform.

Tech-focused private equity funds raised about $ 50 billion in each of the last three years, according to Preqin. With capital flooding the tech space, many investors are wary that deal prices will keep rising.

Firms continue to press into the space, with technology deals accounting for nearly half of the total value of private equity-backed merger and acquisition volume announced in the third quarter, according to data provider Dealogic.

This year, Thoma Bravo, another technology investor, raised $ 7.6 billion for its newest flagship fund. Meanwhile, Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank Group and the government of Saudi Arabia set their sights on the tech sector, in October announcing they would raise up to $ 100 billion to target deals in the space.

Vista, which said in September it would take network security company Infoblox Inc. private in a $ 1.6 billion deal, has been active in snapping up publicly listed companies. Earlier this year, the firm said it took digital marketing company Marketo private for $ 1.75 billion and announced it would acquire Cvent, a cloud-based event management company, for $ 1.65 billion.

Write to Laura Cooper at and Dawn Lim at

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