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VIDEO: DealerSocket Rumors: CEO Jonathan Ord Sets the Record Straight

What’s next for DealerSocket? It seems that this question, as well as speculated answers have dotted the web recently. Here at DrivingSales News, we have your answer, straight from the source. Jonathan Ord, co-founder and CEO of DealerSocket sat down with the CEO of DrivingSales, Jared Hamilton to discuss what’s on the horizon for his company, beginning with rumors that they are going to be acquired.  

Jared Hamilton: There’s lot of news in the industry, lots of discussion around DealerSocket today, that you might be potentially getting acquired or selling the company, can you explain what’s the deal, what’s with the noise, there’s smoke, is there fire?

Jonathan Ord: Yeah, I love rumors. It’s great to be so thought-of and to have so much discussion about our company and what we do. Just to set the record straight, we are swapping out a financial partner. We’re partnering with Vista Equity Partners. They’re a 13 billion-dollar private equity firm. Great, great guys. Matt and Cameron and myself and Brad and Darin Harris, all the key management players are all still here and we still own, just a little bit under half of the company. So, its really a financing event to do some great things for our employees, to do great things for us personally, and really get back into the trenches.

Be sure to stay tuned to where in the coming days we will have more information for you on the partnership between DealerSocket and Vista Equity as well as more information from the interview between Jared Hamilton and Jonathan Ord. 


Notice how he said that they still owned a little under half of the company? Vista Equity owns a little over half of it now. Guess who the chairman of Vista Equity is... Bob Brockman, owner of Reynolds. Y'all can do the math here.

May 13, 2014

Robert F. Smith - Chairman and CEORobert founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000 and is the firm's Chairman and CEO. Robert currently sits on or participates in the boards of all Vista portfolio companies. He is Chairman of the investment committee and is actively involved in Vista's direction, investment decisions, executive development and operational strategies. Prior to founding Vista, Robert was the Co-Head of the Enterprise Systems and Storage sector for Goldman, Sachs & Co.'s investment banking division. While at Goldman, he executed and advised on merger and acquisition activity across a broad range of technology segments, including semiconductors, contract manufacturing, data networking, computer systems, B2B and enterprise software, and internet infrastructure. Robert also served as the business unit manager for Goldman's Mergers and Acquisitions group, and was responsible for conflict clearance, team staffing, recruiting, marketing strategy, and fee schedule integrity.Before his time with Goldman, Robert worked in strategic planning and development at Kraft General Foods (KGF). He is the principal inventor on two United States and two European patents. Robert holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A. degree from Columbia University, where he graduated with Beta Gamma Sigma honors and earned numerous academic achievement awards. In addition to numerous academic and civic awards, Robert received the 2010 Ripple of Hope Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.Education:B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Cornell UniversityM.B.A., Concentration in Finance and Marketing, Columbia Business School

May 13, 2014 (Last Edited: 2014-05-13 16:35:55)

Thanks for the interview Jared! We are excited about this over here and look at it as another great launch pad for DealerSocket. I am not rolling significant equity to be acquired and assumed by another. We believe passionately in our DealerSocket vision and culture and we (all of us) are excited about this next step. We look forward to showing the automotive world more of what DS is capable of!

May 13, 2014

I appreciate the response, Jonathan. I've since found out that Brockman is not chairman now although via a simple Google search, he was a chairman at some point. Irregardless of who the current chairman is, I have two comments: First, Vista Equity currently lists it's "companies" as inclusive of BOTH Reynolds and DealerSocket. Second, this deal is way too small for Vista Equity to be interested in unless Reynolds was involved in some way. In what way, I don't know. There is no way that Vista Equity invested in DealerSocket without an end game and that end game will ALWAYS be to make money. They currently have two competing companies in their portfolio with the acquisition of the majority stake in DealerSocket. If they wanted to place Bob Brockman on your board, they could. As a much smarter person than me said "DealerSocket is a lot closer to Reynolds today than they were a few days ago [and] every competitor is [now] going to take that page on Vista's site and show that to DealerSocket customers -- "See, they're tied to Reynolds and Reynolds."

May 13, 2014 (Last Edited: 2014-05-13 16:49:09)

You clearly do not know me or DealerSocket very well. But to quote one of your other articles, "the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about"… We do like the attention! Time will tell a different story than what you are painting. but I am great with you talking about us! Your link is the "easy" answer without looking deeper or understanding how Vista invests, their MO, DealerSocket's culture, my MO, our history, how much of an investment they even have in Rey, offers that we have turned down. I get that it is fun to talk about, just like hearing the stories on TMZ that are filled with half trues. Also, our competitors have said that we were being purchased by just about everyone for the last 10 years… We are flattered by the attention and we are even more flattered by the record number of customers that chose our platform in the month of April. We will continue to server our customers and future customers as well as we are able and this transaction simply increases our abilities and capabilities into the future. Thx Arnold.

May 13, 2014

Don't for a moment take me wrong, Jonathan. I think DealerSocket is a great company and offers a great solution. I hope everything you are saying plays out just like you predict for both you, your company and employees. I only wish y'all the best. I am only asking the questions and voicing the thoughts that are bouncing around along with my thoughts on this. I'm in no way a psychic. Don't take my commentary as reporting. It's simply slowly putting pieces together in a confusing puzzle. There's no doubt in my mind that similar questions aren't swimming through the minds of many. I just happened to be the one that voiced them. And yes, my quote stands, it's much better to be talked about than not at all. Best wishes.

May 13, 2014 (Last Edited: 2014-05-13 17:08:30)

Thank you for bring up the questions that others are thinking and thank you for the kind words about DS.



May 13, 2014

Congrats! Dealer Socket is a wonderful product. Very intuitive. I have met you Mr. Ord on a few occasions and I am sure you are doing what is best for the company! I hold a very high respect for DS as I've used it and worked closely with the DS team. They are all straight up, hard working, focused individuals that want nothing more than the dealership to succeed. Im sure Jonathan's angle here is all for the best. Good luck, see you around :)

May 13, 2014

Wishing Johathan and his wonderful staff at DS the best. Nice people to work with for sure.

May 14, 2014

Congratulations to the DealerSocket team! This is incredible news. Vista only seeks out companies that have long term vision, are leaders in their industry and have a satisfied customer base to back it up! Way to Go!!

May 15, 2014

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