LINQ Announces Strategic Growth Investment from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe

January 12, 2022 | Press Release

Wilmington, NC, New York, NY, and San Francisco, CA

LINQ, the leading K-12 operations technology provider, has received a strategic growth investment from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS), a private equity firm focused on technology and healthcare. WCAS joins existing backer Banneker Partners to accelerate the Company’s growth and further enhance LINQ’s mission of Making Schools StrongerTM. LINQ offers K-12 schools and state government agencies a comprehensive software platform for cafeteria/nutrition, Enterprise Resource Planning, grant management, human resources management, payments, student registration, and parent communication.

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven school districts to accelerate their digital transformation. District and school administrators have consequently turned to the cloud-based, integrated solution suite provided by LINQ to effectively automate and manage their teams, programs, and data. More than ever, administrators need trusted partners and advisors, such as LINQ, who can quickly adapt to meet their evolving needs. As a result, LINQ plays a vital role in serving schools and their communities, providing flexible and easy-to-use solutions to over 4,000 customers and 32,000 schools nationwide.

“We have a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of everyday heroes, who work in our nation’s school systems, by helping them to redefine the future of education,” said Krista Endsley, CEO of LINQ. “Our partnership with WCAS and Banneker marks the start of a new phase at LINQ; the emphasis will be on strengthening our purpose-driven company to continue providing outstanding service and solving key challenges for our partner districts.”

“LINQ offers a unique platform that provides a full suite of solutions solving real pain points in the K-12 administrative and operations workflow,” said WCAS General Partner Christopher Hooper and Principal Jennifer Ding, who have joined LINQ’s Board of Directors. “WCAS has deep experience building leading software companies, and we are very excited to partner with LINQ and Banneker to continue driving the Company’s growth, organically and via M&A, while dedicating ourselves to LINQ’s mission of serving school systems and their constituents.” Tim Clifford, WCAS Operating Partner and former CEO of Frontline Education, will also join LINQ’s Board.

“It is a privilege to collaborate with WCAS and LINQ to help advance the Company’s vision to create the nation’s only student-to-state ecosystem for administrators,” said Stephen Davis, Managing Partner at Banneker Partners. “By improving efficiencies for schools, districts, and states, we’re creating tremendous value for LINQ customers to focus on what matters the most – our children.” Davis will continue on LINQ’s Board along with Darryl Lewis and Terrance Bei, Banneker Operating Partners.

William Blair acted as exclusive financial advisor to LINQ, with Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe serving as legal counsel. Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel, and Macquarie Capital served as financial advisor to WCAS