Francisco Partners has acquired a majority stake in SmartBear Software, a company that makes tools for software developers. The PE firm purchased the target from Insight Venture Partners, which originally invested in Smartbear in 2007.

The transaction comes as demands for "easy-to-use tools" that helps software developers build and test new programs rises and combinations of "applications and devices are making software quality even more complex," say the two companies. Financial terms of the SmartBear deal were not disclosed.

Adobe Stock

Boston-based SmartBear helps software makers test and monitor performance of systems. The company is known for its TestComplete, QAComplete, Collaborator, Alertsite and CrowssBrowserTesting products. SmartBear serves more than 20,000 companies.

Francisco Partners is a San Francisco-based technology-focused firm that has raised over $10 billion in capital to date. Francisco Partners received Mergers & Acquisitions Private Equity Firm of the Year award for 2016. The PE firm bought Dell's software unit before Dell acquired EMC Corp. for $67 billion.

Technology and software deals have been picking up. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSC) is buying network management provider Viptela; Golden Gate has agreed to purchase interior design software developer 2020 Technologies; and MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE: MXL) is purchasing lighting chip maker Exar Corp. (NYSE: EXAR).

Evercore Partners (NYSE: EVR) and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advised SmartBear. Paul Hastings LLP represented Francisco Partners.

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Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis serves as Assistant Managing Editor. He joined Mergers & Acquisitions in 2015 as a Senior Reporter.