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Behind the Buyouts: THL's Carlisle on Middle Market Robotics, Tech

Published: May 19th, 2022
Thomas H. Lee managing director Jim Carlisle discussed the buyout shop's approach to investing in technologies such as automation, software and online marketplaces.

In this installment of The Deal’s Behind the Buyouts podcast, Thomas H. Lee Partners LP managing director Jim Carlisle discusses the firm’s strategy in middle market technology, including robotics, automation, software and marketplace businesses.

Robotics may call to mind George Jetson, but Carlisle described practical applications in such diverse settings as warehouses, via portfolio companies AutoStore AS and RightHand Robotics Inc., and hospitals, through technology developed by Qventus Inc. Portfolio company Kinexon GmbH develops technology that monitors machinery on factory floors and can also track performance of professional athletes on a basketball court or soccer pitch.

Carlisle also explained how THL breaks down opportunities in vertical software, horizontal software and infrastructure, and the appeal of marketplaces such as food delivery service GrubHub Inc. and real estate outfit Ten-X LLC.

Meanwhile, the THL managing director discussed building up portfolio companies through M&A and the symbiotic relationship between the firm’s Automation and Flagship funds.

Here’s the podcast:

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