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New Signature Gets $35 Million VC Investment

New Signature, the Washington, D.C.-based Microsoft national solutions provider and 2014 Microsoft U.S. Partner of the Year, unveiled a $35 million initial investment from venture capital firm Columbia Capital on Thursday.

The relatively rare VC investment in a pure-play solution provider is intended to drive accelerated capacity, geographic growth and acquisitions at New Signature, a 100-percent Microsoft-focused systems integration company with a high-profile cloud practice and a focus in the business segment that Microsoft calls SMS&P.

Columbia Capital, based in Alexandria, Va., manages about $2.5 billion in assets, according to the company's Web site, and companies in its portfolio similar to New Signature include Cloud Sherpas and 2nd Watch.

Along with the investment come a new CEO, Jeff Tench, and a new chairman, Neil Hobbs. Co-founders Christopher Hertz and David Geevaratne will stay on, Hertz as president and Geevaratne as Chief Sales Officer.

"We are excited to be entering the next stage of our development alongside Jeff and Neil and a respected capital partner," Hertz said in a statement. "Jeff's experience building successful services organizations enables our firm to take the reputation and credibility we have established to new heights."

Tench's resume includes roles as CEO at Teliris and president of the Business Markets Group at Level 3 Communications. He reiterated New Signature's commitment to Microsoft solutions. "New Signature has full-stack Microsoft expertise which enables us to evangelize Microsoft cloud services and ultimately accelerate the purchase and consumption of these services. With a clear focus on delivering actionable roadmaps to business and technical decision makers, we will chart the course for solution optimization and modernization through cloud technologies such as Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online," Tench said in a statement.

Patrick Hendy, a partner at Columbia Capital, meanwhile, positioned the investment and plans for New Signature as a vote of confidence in Microsoft's current direction.

"Under Satya Nadella's leadership, Microsoft has transformed into a pivotal technology provider that is focused on empowering companies across every vertical to achieve value rapidly by reinventing productivity and business processes," Hendy said in a statement. "Microsoft is clearly positioned to be a market leader in this transformation and we believe that New Signature will be a key player in helping customers successfully navigate this transformation."

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 24, 2015 at 4:11 PM