Colorado Springs-based information technology provider Navakai has been acquired by a Virginia IT company to get the financial backing it needs to expand along the Front Range.
The 20-year-old Navakai employs 26 people to provide computer and network support to small and midsized Colorado Springs area businesses. The acquisition by the Virginia company, Ntiva, was completed Oct. 1; terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Ntiva CEO Steven Freidkin said Navakai will operate as the Rocky Mountain regional hub for Ntiva, which also provides IT services in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, New York, West Virginia, South Florida and Southern California. Navakai's founders will continue to run Ntiva's regional operations in Colorado Springs.
"Navakai is looking forward to the growth opportunities, additional resources and expertise that Ntiva brings to the table," Navakai CEO Davin Neubacher said in a news release. "This is something that (co-owner) Shawn (Morland) and I wanted to do for a while, which is to expand into new markets and add people. This partnership with Ntiva allows us to do that."
The transaction resulted from a 2019 telephone call David Ervin, former CEO of The Resource Exchange in Colorado Springs and a former Navakai client, made to connect the two companies. Neubacher said a dinner with Freidkin led to further discussions and eventually the acquisition after both CEOs determined the companies shared similar corporate cultures and values about customers and employees.
Ntiva secured an investment in 2016 from Connecticut-based Southfield Capital, which targets midsized companies in the outsourced business services and specialty finance sectors. Freidkin said that investment has allowed the company to grow both by hiring more IT professionals and making acquisitions like Navakai, where he plans to double the company's staff within the next year.
"We are committed to this market and we plan to grow by both relocating and hiring talent. We want to grow this region from this office and will do that by adding people, marketing our services and merging with other managed services providers," Freidkin said. "Our approach is that we exist to grow people and technology accelerates that growth. We focus on using technology to help people and businesses grow."
Neubacher and Morland started Navakai in 2001 after leaving telecommunications and internet service provider Vanion as the company was heading into financial trouble. Navakai started out as an internet service provider but expanded into IT services when it acquired mobile IT service provider Ladigo Services and later began offering those services remotely rather than sending employees to customer sites.
Freidkin got his start in IT when a customer at a CompUSA store mistook him for an employee and he offered to help the customer pick out a computer and set it up. That customer referred Freidkin to more clients and he later set up a company to do IT work for home computer users on nights and weekends while in college. In 2004, he turned that company into Ntiva, which grew rapidly by serving small and midsized businesses.
Ntiva has since grow to more than 300 employees and 1,400 clients, managing more than 30,000 devices and making the Inc magazine list of the nation's 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in seven of the past 12 years. The company offers IT consulting, managed IT services, help and support desk operations, cybersecurity and cloud and telecommunications services from offices in Colorado Springs and five other locations.