The California investment firm Clearlake Capital Group yesterday announced that it has acquired NetDocuments, the cloud-based document and email management company that specializes in serving law firms and corporate legal departments.
Clearlake is purchasing the stock of NetDocuments’ previous investor, Frontier Capital, for undisclosed terms. The acquisition is being done in partnership with the current NetDocuments management team, who will maintain “significant ownership.” The company will continue to be led by its current CEO, Matt Duncan, and CTO, Alvin Tedjamulia, and they will both join the board of directors.
Frontier had invested $25 million in NetDocuments in 2014 and named Duncan as the CEO. Duncan is the son of the company’s former CEO, Kenneth W. Duncan, who founded the company in 1999.
Clearlake’s announcement describes NetDocuments as the “only cloud-first and cloud-native content management solution purpose-built for the legal industry.” It says that the platform is used in more than 140 countries and by over 20 percent of Am Law 200 law firms, as well as numerous corporations and legal departments.
The founders of NetDocuments had previously founded SoftSolutions in the 1980s, a document management system that achieved wide popularity among law firms. In 1994, WordPerfect acquired SoftSolutions. The next year, Novell acquired WordPerfect and discontinued SoftSolutions as a product, although it incorporated much of its technology into its GroupWise product.
Kenneth Duncan and Tedjamulia, who had also been a founder of SoftSolutions, then founded NetDocuments as one of the first cloud-based document management systems.
In January 2015, the company acquired Recommind’s Decisiv search and enterprise email management system.
Clearlake is a private investment firm whose core sectors are software and technology, industrials and energy, and consumers. Its varied investments include the apparel site Bluefly, the communications provider ConvergeOne, the energy services companies Globe Energy Services and IronGate Energy Services, the hot tub company Jacuzzi, to the data-processing company Syncsort.