Calabrio, a Minneapolis-based provider of software and services for corporate call centers and help desks, is being purchased by Thoma Bravo, a San Francisco private equity firm.

KKR, a New York investment firm, is selling its controlling stake in Calabrio in the deal.

Terms were not disclosed. However, analysts speculated the deal values Calabrio, which also is an eventual candidate to sell shares to the public, at more than $1 billion.

"We will just continue to grow and at this size [going public] is a logical next step," Calabrio CEO Tom Goodman­son said in an interview. "But we are open to anything that keeps us growing and expanding. We're getting good revenue growth rates with nice profitability for the last couple of years."

Calabrio, which is expected to produce revenue of more than $200 million this year, has quadrupled revenue since 2016. It employs 400 people in the North Loop and 700 in total. In 2019, the company underwent a substantial expansion with the purchase of Teleopti, a Swedish developer of software for workplace management.

KKR held an 85% stake in Calabrio, with the rest owned by Calabrio executives. Thoma Bravo provides Calabrio with fresh capital and plans to leverage its industry expertise.

The customer-engagement software market attracted more investment dollars in 2020 than ever, according to It's valued at $15.5 billion and should double in size by 2026. The major players in a consolidating trade include Calabrio, IBM, Oracle, Nice Systems, Nuance Communications and Pegasystems.

Calabrio is growing faster, aided by recent acquisitions, than the market growth of about 12.5% compounded annually. ResearchandMarkets said this year that 40%-plus of customers switch providers yearly because of "bad service."

The pandemic has compelled customer-contact center executives to recognize the need to speed up overhaul of their service environments along with agent hiring, quality improvements and oversight capabilities, the report concluded.

Goodmanson said the company's Calabrio One software suite has excelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing organizations to shift customer, employee and support-services teams from offices to a work-from-home environment.

San Francisco-based Thoma Bravo boasts $77 billion in assets under management. It has acquired more than 300 software and technology companies.

"Calabrio was in the unique position of having predicted a trajectory to cloud-first systems more than a decade ago, and used this premise to build intelligent applications around a strong cloud-based foundation," said Seth Boro, managing partner at Thoma Bravo. "The pandemic only accelerated this digital transformation."

Goodmanson previously worked in accounting and business technology for KPMG in Minneapolis and San Francisco.

In addition to its Minneapolis headquarters, Calabrio has regional offices in Vancouver, Stockholm, Singapore, Dubai and London.

Neal St. Anthony • 612-673-7144