Mainsail Partners Named By Inc. As One of the Top 50 Most Founder Friendly Private Equity Firms of 2020

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The list is an annual roundup of founder-friendly private equity firms that treat entrepreneurs as partners

Mainsail Partners, a San Francisco-based firm that invests in fast growing software companies, was named in Inc.’s Private Equity 50 list for 2020, honoring the most founder-friendly PE firms that help founder-led businesses thrive, even in the face of unprecedented challenges. According to Inc., the list recognizes 50 firms that entrepreneurs can trust, collaborate with on new strategies, and look to help in financing acquisitions during these uncertain times.

“For nearly two decades, Mainsail has been committed to supporting bootstrapped software entrepreneurs,” said Gavin Turner, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Mainsail. “We appreciate the sacrifices these founders have made to fund their own growth. Our purpose-built team and hands-on approach are specifically designed to help these founders scale their business and drive sustainable growth.”

Since its founding in 2003, Mainsail Partners has raised over $1.2 billion in capital and has invested in more than 50 growing companies. Mainsail has extensive investment experience in B2B software companies across numerous sectors, including vertical SaaS, financial technology, information services technology, infrastructure software, healthcare IT and security software.

As a sign of Mainsail’s commitment to supporting founders and management teams, almost half of the firm is made up of Mainsail’s Operations Team. This team includes former software company operators who leverage real-world experience, well-established best practices, and a true partnership ethos to support management teams. These women and men work closely with Mainsail’s portfolio management teams, with the goal of driving profitable growth and scaling the infrastructure needed to support that growth.

“One of the reasons we connect so well with founders is our respect and appreciation for the culture they’ve built,” added Turner. “We understand that the founding culture is an important part of what makes these companies great before we get involved and we work hard to nurture that.”

To compile the Private Equity 50 List, Inc. went straight to the source: entrepreneurs who have sold to private equity. Founders filled out a questionnaire about their experiences partnering with private equity firms and shared data on how their portfolio companies have grown during these partnerships.

The complete Private Equity 50 list is available here.


About Mainsail
Mainsail Partners is a San Francisco-based growth equity firm that invests exclusively in fast-growing, bootstrapped software companies. The firm has raised over $1.2 billion and invested in more than 50 growing companies since 2003. Mainsail prioritizes investments in B2B software companies with compelling business models in growing markets. The firm’s approach to driving value creation is anchored in a dedicated Operations Team that is purpose-built to help founders scale their businesses and accelerate growth. These women and men include former software company operators who leverage real-world experience, well-established best practices, and a true partnership ethos to support management teams. For more, visit or follow the firm on LinkedIn.

The Top 50 Most Founder-Friendly Private Equity Firms of 2020 recognition presented herein is awarded by Inc., a third-party that is not affiliated with Mainsail Partners. Inc. requested nominees provide them with a certain number of entrepreneur references, and Inc. independently assessed the nominees based on responses to a questionnaire by such entrepreneur references. The number of nominees reviewed for this recognition was not disclosed to Mainsail, and therefore, it and the percentage of nominees receiving the recognition, cannot be disclosed herein. Inc.’s recognition is not indicative of Mainsail Partners’ future performance and does not reflect the experience of, or any rating by, Mainsail Partners’ investors. Mainsail Partners paid an application fee to participate in this process. For more information regarding this recognition, please see the linked publication.

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