Liongard CEO Joe Alapat lays out plans as company closes B funding round

Liongard has added $17 million in new funds, bringing them to $23 million in the last three years, with much of the investment going into engineering and roadmap plans.

Joe Alapat, Liongard’s CEO

Today, Houston-based Liongard, which makes software that automates the ingestion, auditing, documentation and securing of systems for MSPs, has announced the close of $17 million in Series B funding. Joe Alapat, Liongard’s CEO, talked with ChannelBuzz about their expansion plans around the new funding and their overall strategic direction.

“We chose to get this funding to continue our growth, and get our message out there,” Alapat said. “This is a great time for us to double down and dig in to help our MSP partners run their businesses as efficiently as possible. We think this round will help us over the next couple of years to execute on our plan, and are  really excited about this next step in our journey.”

Liongard has been posting strong growth, with triple-digit customer growth and a doubling of internal staff over the past 18 months. The B round funding brings their total funding to almost $23 million over the last three years. This round was led by Updata Partners with participation from TDF Ventures, Integr8d Capital and private investors.

Alapat said that a good chunk of the new money would support engineering resources and product development.

“We are investing a great deal into the engineering side and product side of the organization to execute on the road map,” he said. “That’s a big part of it. We have differentiated by our providing visibility beyond the endpoint for MSPs and a key part of that has come by building integrations. We will continue that, extending integrations with platforms and systems”

Last year, Liongard added new platform integrations with Datto, IT Glue and BrightGauge, joining their existing ConnectWise integration.

“We continue to improve our ConnectWise, Datto, IT Glue and BrightGauge integrations,” Alapat said. “From a system standpoint, we have built integrations up and down the stack. We have done more on the network infrastructure side and advanced our Microsoft 365 integration.”

Alapat noted that partners have been asking them to round out infrastructure integrations with major competitors of supported vendors.

“Partners are asking us to complete the picture,” he said. “We have Microsoft 365, so they asked us to add G Suite. They wanted us to have both Azure and AWS. They wanted us to have both Linux and Windows when it comes to servers. Since we had Hyper-V, we added VMware because they wanted that. We are really working on completing the picture and pushing the roadmap forward.”

This has become more critical as Liongard has expanded its functionality.

“Our original message was automated documentation,” he said. “We have moved the product past that with our messaging and reporting capabilities to let an MSP audit, document and secure systems for their customers. It has been critical to invest on the partner success side as well as account management, to make sure our partners are getting the experience they need.”

Alapat said that partners are asking for Liongard to give them more control over capabilities in the platform.

“They wanted metrics that can be pointed at and then used for alerting or detecting change,” he said. “So not only does a partner have the visibility to look at systems, but also the ability to create their own alerts and metrics. That we have already done. But they still want to take control of the platform as much as possible.”

Alapat indicated that to provide this, Liongard will continue to focus on extending MSP control over  documenting and securing systems and providing a high degree of content around security, such as how CIS Controls map to what they provide.

All this is complicated by the pandemic, its shift to Work From Home, and its two-edged sword for MSPs.

“It’s a new world order,” Alapat said. “The opportunity for MSPs has changed by Work From Home and this hybrid type of environment. “The most important thing is that MSPs are identified as a critical business because they provide backbone for SMBs. This is critical for businesses to operate. We saw in March that the MSPs were very busy helping customers set up remotely. We see tailwinds from that for MSPs and for what we provide them to help customers be productive remotely.”

On the other hand, Alapat noted that many MSP customers are now seriously short of cash.

“End customers have been impacted by this,” he said. “We see partners working through some of those challenges. We are working with them on how the business model has changed and working to make them as efficient as possible.”

Partner feedback is especially critical for a young company like Liongard, and the company has been a constant presence at trade shows which attract MSPs. Those shows are now in abeyance,  but Alapat said they have methods to keep in touch.

“We have multiple ways we do that,” he indicated. “We have the Roar user network, through which all of our partners interact with each other and with us, and can give us feedback there. We also have a portal to get feedback, and we  run webinars where we speak to important concepts for the MSP.”

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