Thoma Bravo is a successor to the firm of Golder Thoma & Co. established in Chicago in 1980 by Stanley Golder and Carl Thoma. That firm developed a “consolidation” or “buy and build” investment strategy which sought to invest in a “platform” business in a fragmented industry and then work with management to make the business larger and more profitable through internal growth and a series of strategic, industry consolidating acquisitions. Business Week magazine credited Golder Thoma with pioneering this strategy and Fortune magazine recognized the firm for combining the key elements of venture capital, leverage and “business building.”
In 1998, the original firm, then known as Golder Thoma Cressey Rauner, split into two firms, one of which was Thoma Cressey Equity Partners (TCEP), which opened an office in San Francisco to extend the reach of its Chicago office. TCEP subsequently became Thoma Cressey Bravo in recognition of the substantial contribution to its success being made by Orlando Bravo. When partner Bryan Cressey left to establish a separate healthcare services fund in 2008, the firm became Thoma Bravo, LLC.
Thoma Bravo has refined and applied the original buy and build investment strategy in various business cycles and investment climates and through a series of private equity funds representing billions of dollars in committed capital. The firm today is particularly known for its long record of successful investments in software and technology enabled services sectors, which have been the focus of Thoma Bravo for more than 15 years. In addition to its original “flagship” funds, which have grown to keep pace with growing software and technology sectors, Thoma Bravo has initiated its Discover series of middle market focussed fund and, most recently, a credit fund to participate as a lender in its own and other leveraged transactions.