Who Bought Think3?

I have been writing about the happenings at Think3 following its recent acquisition by Versata. To help me put things into perspective a few Think3 employees have been sharing hard to find public information with me by pointing me to the web site of the Ministry of Company Affairs in India. I have tried to contact Think3 and Versata many times in the recent past but have received no response.

Then yesterday, out of the blue, I got a response from Think3. And it shocked the crap out of me. The email said that Think3 Inc. had not been directly or indirectly acquired by Versata. I called the phone number in the email and got the author on the line. The person reiterated that Versata had absolutely no share holding in Think3 Inc. So I asked the next logical question, “So who was Think3 Inc. sold to or merged with?“. The reply was, “I’m sorry. I cannot answer that question“.

This is absurd and I will tell you why. On 5th October 2010, Think3 issued a press release saying that it had “joined the family of Versata affiliated companies“. The press release was signed by Tasha Petty from Versata PR and mentioned that “Atlas Capital IB LLC. acted as financial advisor to Versata on the transaction“. This page on the Atlas Capital web site clearly states, in no uncertain terms, that Think3 was acquired by Versata. Note the words “Acquisition of Think3 by Versata“.

Common sense tells me that Atlas Capital would know what role Versata played in the Think3 acquisition because they were the ones who financially advised them. And yesterday evening Think3 goes on record to state that “Think3 had not been directly or indirectly acquired by Versata“. If Versata was not party to the Think3 acquisition then what on God’s bountiful earth was Atlas Capital financially advising them on? So if it was not Versata then who the bloody hell bought Think3?

To find out I went to think3.com and was surprised to see that investors page was empty.

A search at archive.org revealed that at one point in time, the investors page contained DCM-Doll Capital Management, New Enterprise Associates, Crosslink Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and US Venture Partners. So obviously these investors sold their stake in Think3 to someone. But who?

I searched for information related to Think3 acquisition in Google and a few US government web sites but came up with nothing. While searching I came across one of the articles written by Think3 India employees mentioning that a company called ESW Capital had acquired Think3. However, the name ESW Capital does not figure anywhere in the Think3 press release.

A Google search for ESW Capital led me to this public document at the US Securities and Exchange Commission which shows that Manager of ESW Capital LLC, Assistant Secretary of Versata Enterprises and President and CEO of Trilogy are one and the same person. Interestingly the “About Versata” section of the Think3 press releases starts with: “Founded in 1989, Trilogy established Trilogy Technology Group, a forerunner to Versata Enterprises, in 2004.” So it appears that ESW Capital, Versata Enterprises and Trilogy are all related to each other in some way.

Frankly, I don’t give a damn whether these companies are related or not and how. I just want to know who the hell bought Think3. Period.