IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of ParkerGale
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IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of ParkerGale

March 30, 2016

More new members for the IVCA are rolling in for 2016, and the expansion means more opportunities to network and experience the great variety of firms in the Chicago area and the surrounding Midwest regions. One of the latest additions is ParkerGale, private equity firm, who focuses on buying and serving the needs of small technology companies and the teams who run them. As their website notes, while deeply engaged in their operations, “we try not to take ourselves too seriously.”

The following is a Q&A profile by the IVCA with ParkerGale, which outlines their origins and philosophies.

New Member: ParkerGale

Representative: Kristina Heinze, Partner

IVCA: What is a brief history and background of ParkerGale?

ParkerGale: ParkerGale’s team has a long track record of raising and managing private equity funds as a team and individually over their careers.  Collectively, they have worked in Private Equity for sixty years, averaging nine years together as a team.  This vast experience shaped the strategy, as several team members executed together while at Chicago Growth Partners, running that firm’s Technology Enabled Services sector. That is the foundation for the sector-focused, operationally intensive small buyouts strategy at ParkerGale. Through their regular podcasts, blogging and published articles – about private equity, entrepreneurship and technology – members of the ParkerGale team are very active in the industry.

IVCA: Why did the firm decide to join the Illinois Venture Capital Association?

ParkerGale: We wanted to be a more active member of the Illinois PE/VC community, and to help promote our industry, entrepreneurs and networking opportunities.

IVCA: The firm’s specialty is tech companies. What are the characteristics that you look for in the smaller tech companies that you purchase, and how do you match your skills with those characteristics once the deal is in process?

ParkerGale: We look for founder-owned companies, where ParkerGale can be the first institutional capital. We believe this will allow the team to build value during its ownership period by improving operations, professionalizing management, building differentiated products and positioning the company for an exit to strategic acquirers – as well as larger technology-focused PE funds. We look for growing, profitable and tech-enabled businesses with recurring revenue models and typically $2mm-$10mm EBITDA.

IVCA: Technology continues to evolve and grow into micro-specialty companies like your recent OnePlus [Northbrook, Illinois] purchase. How do assess the viability or future of a micro-specialty product, and does that include assessing manufacturing techniques for potential new products?

ParkerGale: We assess the viability of our potential companies’ technology solutions by conducting thorough due diligence on both the macro and micro market dynamics driving the company, and specific sector growth. We always complete a comprehensive diligence review of the competitive landscape, plus the overall addressable target market size both today and in the future, while taking into account future products and solutions that we will develop based on our product road map.  We confirm the product’s value proposition and ROI to the end user, to make sure there is enough opportunity to execute on our growth plans.

IVCA: One of the features of your website is a podcast. How is that modern digital showcase an effective means to create a message or communicate the firm's goals?

ParkerGale: We love using the PEFunCast as a way to talk about technology, company building, and in general what it’s like to work with PE funds. We try to give business owners and founders a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on inside PE funds, and the companies we own.  Plus, it’s fun!

IVCA: What does ParkerGale hope to achieve in their interaction with the IVCA?

ParkerGale: We hope to be able to help work with entrepreneurs, and other like organizations in the area to drive increased innovation and value creation in our collective eco-systems. We look forward to getting to know our fellow members better and hopefully be able to work together in mutually beneficial ways, long into the future.

For more information regarding ParkerGale Private Equity, click on parkergale.com