Robert F. Smith has made a move that has skyrocketed his private equity firm’s revenue.

Markets Insider reports that the billionaire’s Vista Equity Partners has sold Apptio to IBM for $4.6 billion. The sale of the software maker has doubled the firm’s money after acquiring it back in 2019 — marking a return of 142% on the $1.9 billion investment.

As previously reported by AfroTech, Vista Equity Partners bought the Seattle, WA-based company in cash two years after it went public.


The outlet details that IBM shared “it will use cash on hand to fund the deal, which it expects to complete in the second half of 2023.”

To date, Vista Equity Partners has generated $18 billion by cashing out its bets since November 2021.

 As AfroTech previously told you, Smith founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000. Across two decades, the company has built an extensive portfolio and invested in the likes of STATS, Ping Identity, Jio, and more.

“With over $96 billion in assets under management and over 20 years of investing exclusively in enterprise software, we believe the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future — a healthier planet, a smarter economy, a diverse and inclusive community, and a broader path to prosperity,” the company’s website states.

In addition to having a focus on software, Smith is highly active in the education space with the Student Freedom Initiative (SFI). In September 2022, the organization announced it had joined Connect Humanity, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, and the Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities in a public-private partnership to work toward digital equity.

“We’re bringing solar panel systems to one of the HBCUs, which will actually power 20,000 homes,” Smith told AfroTech. “Our plan is that as we offset our greenhouse gases across our portfolio companies, we actually enable the building and construction of solar arrays in underrepresented minority neighborhoods we use for our HBCU students to learn, train and develop their capacity to participate in that part of the industry as well.”