February 16, 2022
New York City-based Upstack on Wednesday announced its deal with Clinton, New Jersey-based RDS. They did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, which Upstack described as a merger. Upstack is scaling using a $50 million growth investment from private equity firm Berkshire Hathaway and $100 million in financing led by two other firms. Upstack has acquired more than a dozen technology advisory firms. In addition, the company offers a proprietary software platform designed to streamline the technology sales process.
RDS launched in 2005 and has grown into a 30-employee shop. The telecom agency and consulting firm reached $1 million in monthly recurring billings with Intelisys in 2015. That made it the eighth platinum Intelisys partner at the time. Then RDS entered a league of its own in 2021, when Intelisys named it a “palladium” partner for obtaining $5 million in monthly net customer billings.
Upstack’s Christopher Trapp
“For the last several years, RDS has operated in a league of its own. J.R. Vernick and Darren Jones have built a world-class business that is trusted by some of the most recognizable Fortune 50 global enterprises,” Upstack Christopher Trapp said. “Our investment in RDS strengthens the Upstack platform in the enterprise sector and brings together the top two agencies in the world. The leadership team and I look forward to working closely with J.R. and Darren to drive the Upstack vision forward.”
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Upstack announced that the entire RDS team will join the combined company. Moreover, managing partners J.R. Vernick and Darren Jones have accepted roles as partners and executive managing directors.
Jones and Vernick met each other at Stockton University, where both graduated in 2000. Vernick worked at Qwest Communications before RDS, while Jones worked at Thomson Reuters.
Reasons for Joining
Jones pointed to the the fact that all of its 30 employees could go to Upstack as a reason RDS chose Upstack.
Upstack’s Darren Jones
“Securing the futures of our team members as part of an innovative company with a clear vision was a huge factor in joining Upstack,” said Jones. “Happy employees are the key ingredient to the unmatched customer service experience RDS delivers. As part of Upstack, our team members now have opportunities to grow their careers as we scale our world-class service organization.”
Vernick said the transaction gives RDS more resources and technology that it can harness to “continue our growth trajectory.” He said RDS has taken a client-first approach to business since its inception.
Upstack’s J.R. Vernick
“For 17 years, we’ve experienced unprecedented double-digit revenue growth year over year as we’ve expanded our capabilities to support the needs of midmarket and enterprise clients,” Vernick said.
Chris Trapp comes from the data center colocation space. He has stated his intention of making Upstack the largest and most successful technology sales agency in the world.
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