SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 30, 2020) — Mainsail Partners, a growth equity firm that invests exclusively in bootstrapped software companies, today welcomed Jeff Gardner as Executive-in-Residence (“EIR”)¹. In this role, Gardner will join forces with Mainsail Partners to identify investment opportunities where he can leverage his expertise and experience leading high growth software companies.
Mainsail and Gardner previously partnered when the firm invested in Zen Planner, a business management software solution for the fitness industry, where Gardner was CEO at the time. Together they grew the company from 27 employees to 88 before ultimately selling the business to Daxko. Under Gardner’s leadership, the company became one of the most respected and sought-after places to work in the Denver-area, including being named on Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work four years in a row. Gardner also recently served on the board of another Mainsail portfolio company, PestRoutes. The firm announced this week it sold a majority of its shares in the company to another private equity firm.
Vinay Kashyap, a Partner at Mainsail, worked closely with Gardner during his time at Zen Planner, including sitting on the board during Gardner’s tenure as CEO. “We have had a front row seat to witness Jeff’s talent as a leader and operator,” said Kashyap. “Jeff is a passionate CEO who understands that driving value for customers begins with building high performance teams and maintaining a strong culture. He is a data-driven business leader with an innate ability to focus on the highest value opportunities and direct the resources of his company toward those opportunities. We are excited to work with Jeff to find the next great bootstrapped software company to build into a market leader.”
Gardner, who resides in Denver, Colorado, adds, “This is an incredible opportunity to do what I love – building great software companies – with a team that I respect in Mainsail. I’ve always appreciated Mainsail’s approach to investing in high quality software companies and then helping those companies to grow through their network and operational best practices and resources. I’m looking forward to partnering with the Mainsail team once again.”
Gardner’s other roles include executive positions at startups ThrivePass, PaySimple and Pendum LLC. Additionally, he held management positions at GE, Avaya and Qwest. Jeff works closely with Wish for Wheels, a non-profit that transforms the lives of children in low-income communities through the gift of a new bike.
About Mainsail Partners
Mainsail Partners is a San Francisco-based growth equity firm that invests exclusively in fast-growing, bootstrapped software companies. Since 2003, the firm has invested in more than 50 growing companies. Mainsail prioritizes investments in growing B2B software companies with compelling business models and at least $4 million in recurring revenue. The firm’s approach to driving value creation is anchored in a dedicated Operations Team which is purpose-built to help exceptional founders scale their businesses and accelerate growth. These women and men include former software company operators who leverage real world experience, repeatable best practices, and a true partnership ethos to support founders and management teams. For more information, please visit www.mainsailpartners.com.
About Mainsail’s Executive in Residence¹
Mainsail’s Executives in Residence are not employees of Mainsail or its affiliates. They are engaged by Mainsail or its affiliates to provide operational and other services with respect to Mainsail’s investments.