And Helm Partners has bought a fellow agency.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

November 2, 2021

3 Min Read
Cash pile

Upstack continues to capture the eyes of the channel with its outside financing.

New York-based Upstack on Tuesday announced $100 million in financing from MidCap Financial and Morgan Stanley Private Credit. This comes a half-year after the agency and sourcing firm announced a $50 million private equity investment from Berkshire Partners. Upstack has already used funding to buy more than a dozen agencies/brokers.

Upstack leaders say the new funds will go to help itmbuild its platform.


Upstack’s Christopher Trapp

“This transaction further solidifies our position as the most financially sound and qualified investor in the IT channel,” said Christopher Trapp, founder and CEO of Upstack. “Adding MidCap and Morgan Stanley Private Credit as capital partners strengthens our balance sheet and further enables Upstack to continue investing in the best and brightest businesses in our sector.”

The line of credit will supplement the investment from Berkshire. Moreover, Berkshire sponsored the financing deal.

Trapp said Berkshire offers expertise in data center, connectivity and manage services.

MidCap Financial functioned as the administrative agent, sole arranger and sole bookrunner.


MidCap’s Dave Crescenzi

“As more businesses that provide products and services in the $4 trillion IT industry continue to rely on indirect sales as primary go-to-market strategy, Upstack has proved highly successful at investing in some of the most well-established and fastest-growing brokerages in the industry,” said Dave Crescenzi, MidCap Financial. “We have been impressed with the team and the stability of the businesses that Upstack continues to attract.”

Sean Sullivan, managing director of Morgan Stanley Private Credit, said Upstack will use the financing to scale its revenue and profitability.

The Financiers

MidCap Financial is managed by Apollo Global Management subsidiary Apollo Capital Management.

Morgan Stanley Private Credit writes on its website that it “invests in first and second lien debt; unitranche loans; mezzanine debt; and equity co-investments alongside controlling shareholders to support middle-market companies.”

“The team seeks to create value as a long-term partner for owner-operated and private equity-backed businesses,” the website says.


Chris Trapp founded Upstack with the goal of building the largest direct selling agency in the world. The company has completed numerous acquisitions, most recently, Chris Palermo’s GCN.

The company continues to look for high-performing partners who want to stay in the business.


Upstack’s Nick Caruso

“We’re investing in the top agents and agencies in our space,” said Nicholas Caruso, Upstack’s head of global channels and alliances. “And that was really the genesis of the investment thesis originally. That and the expansion of our platform, our technology and our customer support. That remains and has not changed in the vision for what we’re doing.”

Helm Partners

It’s a big week for financial transactions in the agent/broker space.


Helm Partners’ Rich Wilson

Helm Partners will acquire consultancy and regional solutions brokerage (formerly known as master agent) Cory Communications. The deal “strengthens and broaden Helm’s core technology and communications advisory services platform.” In addition, it brings aboard Cory president Jack Zoblin, who founded Cory in 2001 after leaving Qwest.

Helm CEO Rich Wilson said his company is adapting to improve the services it provides to customers and employees.

“As organizations continue to focus on, and invest in their technology transformation journey, Helm is committed to investing in our growth and capabilities to deliver industry-leading advisory services and support,” Wilson said.

Helm has earned accolades with both Intelisys and Avant. Most recently Avant honored Helm as its top CCaaS agent. It landed Avant’s largest commission-based deal of the past year selling Genesys.

Earlier this year Helm sold VoxNet, its unified communications, managed security services and internet access division to Telesystem.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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