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The 25 Most Active Independent Sponsors on Axial


In recent years, Independent Sponsors have emerged as a formidable force in the M&A economy.

Over the last three years, Independent Sponsors have been one of the top three highest growth segments on Axial. 421 Independent Sponsors are actively sourcing on Axial, up from 314 this time last year (+34%).

Why are independent sponsors growing in prominence? 

Both sellers and investors like Independent Sponsors’ boutique nature and deep operating experience. They tend to have fewer portfolio companies than private equity firms, which affords them a high degree of personal attention post-acquisition.

Limited partners are also gravitating towards their lower management fees, and the flexibility that comes with co-investing on a deal by deal basis. Sellers, on the other hand, are finding their flexibility with deal structures and terms increasingly attractive. 

Due to these reasons, we found it pertinent to release the inaugural list of Axial’s 25 most active Independent Sponsors. 

Axial’s Independent Sponsor ranking is assembled based on the deal making activities of 421 Independent Sponsor and is driven by three factors: 

  • Total Closures: Total deals closed by the firm since inception
  • Axial Closures: Total closed deals sourced via Axial 
  • Process Effectiveness: Ability to progress to the IOI or LOI stage on deals sourced via Axial

Congratulations to the featured Independent Sponsors for their achievements.

The Most Active Independent Sponsors

Rank Firm HQ
1 CMG Companies TX
2 Polemic Capital NY
3 Pearl Street Capital Partners NY
4 Weave Growth Partners CA
5 Amalgam Capital, LLC NC
6 Polychrome Capital CA
7 Pillar49 Capital CAN
8 Blackbern Partners NY
9 Ilion Capital Partners NY
10 Elmsley Capital IL
11 Auricle Capital Partners CA
12 G&H Ventures, LLC TX
13 Columbia River Partners LLC WA
14 Fairchild Capital Partners NY
15 Sundog Capital GA
16 Parkstone Growth Partners NY
17 Marigny Investments LLC CO
18 LP First Capital TX
19 Bluejay Capital FL
20 Torque Capital Group CT
21 Artinia Group CA
22 Skyline Global Partners LLC IL
23 Evolution Strategy TX
24 StoneCreek Capital CA
25 Skyharbor Capital Partners WA

2 or more closed deals on Axial  – 1 closed deal on Axial

About the Featured Members

“CMG Companies, based out Dallas, TX (USA), is a group of separate and independent entities primarily with investments in the restaurant, retail, hotel, sports and real estate sectors with an investment thesis around multi-unit and franchising. Additional industries of focus within franchising are: fitness, automotive, health & beauty, and wellness.

In terms of where to slot us from an investor type – we are unique in the sense that we have owned and operated our own businesses since 2001, invested our own capital and also raised capital from LPs (both institutional and smaller accredited investors).”

Industries: Health Care, Consumer Goods, Consumer Services, Retail, Real Estate

Visit CMG’s Profile

“Polemic Capital Partners is an operationally-minded private equity firm focusing exclusively in the broader Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs, MSSPs, CSPs) space with a core focus on serving small and mid-sized businesses with outsourced IT and cybersecurity.

The MSP industry is highly fragmented with no player having more than 1% of the market. The industry is a laggard with respect to marketing and sales. Year after year, MSP industry surveys have the number one and number two issues facing MSPs are their inability to professionalize lead generation and customer capture in order to grow their business. Focus on and solving this issue is a specialty of the Polemic team. In addition to acquisitions, Polemic has the playbook to increase sales and margins organically.”

Industries: Technology, Business Services

Visit Polemic’s Profile

“Pearl Street Capital Partners (“PSCP”) invests in outstanding family-owned and privately held businesses that have a track record of success in their markets. PSCP has committed capital from two family offices and a mandate to invest in attractive opportunities in the lower middle market. PSCP partners with founders/owners and management teams to deliver value and preserve business continuity while bringing strategic resources and capabilities to help businesses grow. Our aim is to build stronger businesses positioned for long-term success.”

Industries: Industrials, Technology, Business Services, Consumer Services

Visit Pearl Street’s Profile

“At Weave Growth, we are pioneering a technology-led approach to operational transformation of middle-market businesses. Weave is a private investment firm based in Silicon Valley. As experienced investors, entrepreneurs and operators, we partner with management teams to create long-term value and bring technology expertise to our portfolio companies. We bring a technology-enabled playbook of analytics and automation commonly used in high-growth Silicon Valley startups to our portfolio companies.”

Industries: Financial Services, Business Services, Technology

Visit Weave Growth’s Profile

“Amalgam Capital, LLC is a private investment firm focused on small to medium sized acquisitions. We are a team of seasoned operators who plan to work closely with our portfolio companies to drive measurable value for all stakeholders. We acquire and sustainably grow underrated businesses as independent sponsors. Our multidisciplinary team of investors, entrepreneurs, and operators, has created substantial value for others.”

Industries: Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, Industrials, Technology, Distribution, Energy & Utilities, Materials, Health Care, Business Services, Life Sciences, Consumer Services

Visit Amalgam Capital’s Profile

“Polychrome is a holding company that acquires and partners with SMB enterprise software companies, with a focus on infrastructure, developer tools, cybersecurity and open source companies. We are a team of seasoned operators, who work closely with our portfolio companies to drive value for all stakeholders.

Our target range are companies that are >$1M in ARR, bootstrapped or having raised little capital, are profitable and growing (>0%) and are based in NA or Europe. Polychrome can purchase anywhere from 51-80% of a company, presuming that the founder rolls their equity and works with Polychrome to further scale the business.”

Industries: Technology

Visit Polychrome’s Profile

“Pillar49 Capital provides liquidity, succession solutions and growth capital to owners of small and medium-sized businesses, while preserving and building on the factors that made them great – culture and people.

At Pillar49, we take a different approach than most investors by “rolling up our sleeves” as active managers, providing our partners with the operational and financial resources to support and drive long-term growth. With over 20 combined years of experience investing, advising and helping build businesses, we will be a foundational “pillar” for the next stage of your growth through our active ownership.”

Industries: Consumer Goods, Business Services, Health Care, Consumer Services

Visit Pillar49’s Profile

“BlackBern Partners LLC invests in mature operating companies in the lower middle market, partnering with management teams that have a proven track record of success and providing capital to realize organic growth and acquisition opportunities. BlackBern is industry agnostic and focuses on situations where it can see specific opportunities to add value. A flexible mandate allows BlackBern to tailor investments for companies with a wide range of capital needs.”

Visit Blackbern’s Profile

“Ilion Capital Partners exists to allocate both capital and talent to opportunities that others overlook. We are flexible to look at smaller or more complex deals than most other PE funds or search funds would consider, and count on our diligence and patience to pay off in the long run as we help grow the companies that we partner with.

Through an extensive network of advisors, investors, and former colleagues all over the country, we not only have rapid access to capital to fund our investments, but can also augment management teams where needed. This ensures that we can partner with companies to help them access the capabilities they need to continue building on the legacies that drew us to invest in them.”

Industries: Manufacturing, Industrials, Technology, Materials, Distribution, Business Services, Health Care, Energy & Utilities

Visit Ilion’s Profile

“Our firm and our success are entirely contingent on effective partnerships, which require deep trust and integrity. We seek to work with good, honest people and build close relationships that enable us to align on priorities. Once aligned, we allow ourselves to be creative and flexible, finding the right solution to every unique situation. We are patient, long-term holders of our businesses, who seek to build employee-driven cultures and encourage shared ownership.”

Industries: Manufacturing, Business Services, Consumer Services

Visit Elmsley’s Profile

“Auricle Capital Partners, LLC was founded to invest in high quality US-based family and founder-owned businesses. Our principals have over 35 years of experience as investors in, advisors to, and operators of middle market businesses. We focus on healthcare and B2B products and services, as well as other industries in certain situations.”

Industries: Manufacturing, Industrials, Technology, Business Services, Distribution, Health Care, Consumer Goods, Financial Services, Retail, Consumer Services, Materials, Real Estate, Life Sciences

Visit Auricle’s Profile

“G&H Ventures, LLC is an investment firm founded in 2010 by Danny Guttman and Thomas Hardy, which focuses on investments in the financial services sector.

G&H is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Our competitive advantages include our non-bureaucratic infrastructure, flexible decision making process, long-term investment horizon, ability to accommodate special needs of sellers and management teams, operational and transaction expertise, and opportunistic investment strategy. Our target investment size is $10 million-$50 million.”

Industries: Industrials, Business Services

Visit G&H Ventures’ Profile

“Columbia River Partners (CRP) is a private investment firm integrating private equity, technology and special situations. CRP seeks to partner with management teams to invest in businesses going through transition or expansion with patient long-term capital. We focus on situations where we can bring technology and our network to drive change.

We are not afraid of complexity. We are not afraid of introducing technology to traditional business sectors. We are passionate about investing in people. Learn more about why we may be the right partner for you and your company.”

Industries: Business Services, Technology, Manufacturing, Industrials, Distribution, Energy & Utilities

Visit CRP’s Profile

“Fairchild Capital Partners, LLC is a Buffalo, NY-based private equity firm focused on investing in companies that operate in the middle-market and lower middle-market. Fairchild seeks to partner with companies typically generating revenues between $5 million and $75 million led by strong, entrepreneurial management teams, providing capital for acquisitions, management buyouts, family transitions, estate planning, recapitalizations, corporate divestitures, and growth and expansion.”

Industries: Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, Industrials, Business Services, Distribution, Consumer Services

Visit Fairchild’s Profile

“We are a team of investors and operators who have collectively acquired more than 30 businesses over the course of our careers. While we are generalist investors, our primary areas of industry focus are construction and contracting, consumer products, manufacturing, and distribution.

We seek out situations where our investing, industry, and operating expertise will add value to the companies we acquire, and are comfortable working with leadership transitions.”

Industries: Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, Industrials, Technology, Retail, Business Services, Health Care, Consumer Services

Visit Sundog’s Profile

“Parkstone Growth Partners is a private investment firm focused on lower middle-market investments across the healthcare, insurance, consumer and retail industries.

Our mission is to serve as business-building partners by providing capital and resources to accelerate growth while enhancing long-term value. We are driven by our values in everything that we do: Integrity, Partnership, Mutual Respect, Measurable Impact, and Family.”

Industries: Consumer Goods, Retail, Financial Services, Consumer Services, Health Care

Visit Parkstone’s Profile

“Marigny Investments is a Denver-based private equity firm that looks to partner with entrepreneurs seeking to transition their business into the next stage of growth. Marigny Investments targets overlooked opportunities in the B2B Services and Light Manufacturing sectors with $1-4mm of EBITDA.”

Industries: Industrials, Manufacturing, Distribution, Materials, Consumer Goods, Energy & Utilities, Business Services

Visit Marigny’s Profile

“LP First Capital is a private investment firm focused on business services, with experience in commercial, consumer, education, and healthcare services. We have strong operational backgrounds and industry relationships. We excel in situations where we can partner with founders and management teams to build a platform that will scale and generate long term value for all business stakeholders.”

Industries: Business Services, Health Care

Visit LP First Capital’s Profile

“Bluejay Capital is the investment arm of Bluejay Advisors, operating as an independent sponsor focused on lower middle-market acquisitions across North America. Bluejay respects and appreciates the dedication required to create a founder-owned business and are sensitive to owner’s needs when considering ownership transition. The firm provides strong strategic and operational support and develops creative and flexible capital solutions that are attractive to owners.”

Industries: Industrials, Distribution, Business Services

Visit Bluejay’s Profile

“Torque Capital is a private equity firm that takes an operational approach to investing in lower middle market manufacturing, niche/enthusiast branded products and supply chain service companies. Torque invests in companies that are undergoing change or are at critical inflection points where there are identifiable strategic or operational opportunities on which Torque is uniquely positioned to execute. The firm utilizes experienced operators to help expedite due diligence and identify ways to unlock value.”

Industries: Manufacturing

Visit Torque’s Profile

“Artinia Group is a private investment firm focused on acquiring profitable, exceptionally well run, lower-middle market family businesses. We encourage owners to continue holding a minority interest in the company and working with us to reach our joint goals – improving productivity and investing in sustainable and organic growth while maintaining the business’ legacy. We focus on industries and sectors where our shared investing and operating experience can bring the most value to the business and its customers, team members and partners.”

Industries: Industrials, Technology, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Energy & Utilities, Business Services, Distribution

Visit Artinia’s Profile

“Skyline Global Partners LLC is a lower middle market private equity firm based in Chicago, Illinois. We focus on buyouts and growth equity investments in the United States and Canada. Skyline targets companies in the healthcare, manufacturing, distribution, business services, software/SaaS and eCommerce, consumer products, and food/beverage/agriculture sectors.”

Industries: Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, Industrials, Technology, Business Services, Distribution, Health Care, Consumer Services

Visit Skyline’s Profile

“We consider our portfolio companies as true partners, not merely investments. Evolution values and respects the people with whom we work and believes its value-added involvement is only beginning at the time a transaction closes. We stay engaged and empower company leaders to accelerate the maximum potential of their businesses.

Evolution’s’ primary focus is on entrepreneur-owned businesses but we remain flexible to explore other opportunities where our knowledge and interests are aligned. We typically target industrial and commercial service businesses with under $75 million in revenue and select only a handful of new platform opportunities to pursue each year.”

Industries: Manufacturing, Industrials, Business Services

Visit Evolution’s Profile

“StoneCreek Capital, Inc. is a private equity firm that invests in growth-oriented middle market companies in a wide range of industries. We target investments in companies with $2 million to $15 million in EBITDA. We have the experience, knowledge and access to capital to make your goal become a reality. The principals of StoneCreek have sponsored the acquisition or recapitalization of more than 45 companies, totaling over $1.5 billion in enterprise value.

StoneCreek’s extensive financial, transaction and operating experience allows us to work constructively with management teams to help make “good companies better”. We develop strong, active, value-added partnerships with management by having each party contribute their unique capabilities and by aligning all parties’ economic interests.”

Industries: Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, Distribution, Industrials, Business Services, Health Care, Retail, Consumer Services, Media

Visit StoneCreek’s Profile

“Skyharbor Capital is a private investment firm making selective investments on behalf of several family offices and successful business owners. ​We specialize in acquiring established companies with great track records and have the ability to leverage the power of information to provide scalable “tech-enabled” services.
We believe that information technology is no longer an industry, but rather a set of continuously-evolving tools and value-creation processes that (when applied effectively) can help companies in any industry better understand and service their end-customers. We are focused on acquiring companies that have long-term B2B customer relationships and we’re obsessed with finding ways to help those businesses improve their operations or better serve their own customers.”

Industries: Financial Services, Technology, Business Services, Health Care, Telecommunications

Visit Skyharbor’s Profile

Axial is the trusted deal platform serving the lower middle market ($5-$250M TEV).

Over 3,500 advisory firms and 2,000 corporate and financial buyers have joined Axial to efficiently connect with relevant capital partners, source actionable deals, and build new relationships.

Visit the Member Closed Deals page to see selected transactions that have been sourced and closed via Axial.

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